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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Boys’ basketball demolishes Serrano in second round of CIF

Rihanna Samples
On their way to the locker room, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ basketball team jumped into the air with excitement written on their faces. After a fast-paced game, where Foothill Tech remained in the lead throughout, the boys celebrated their win. With this victory, they secured their spot in the next round of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).
After a shooting foul, Ashton Brown ‘26 (number 11) lines up at the free throw line to shoot free throws for his team. The combination of his ball handling skills and sharpshooting made Brown a formidable opponent to the other team. (Rihanna Samples)

In a thrilling display of skill and dedication, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ basketball team clashed on the court with the Serrano High School (Serrano) Diamondbacks at the Ventura College gymnasium for their second round of California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) on Feb. 9, 2024. The Dragons emerged triumphant with a dedicated win over their opposition 54-43.

This match-up carried immense importance for the team, and as tensions ran high, Foothill Tech needed this win to progress to the CIF quarter-finals.

When asked about the atmosphere leading up to the game Phillip Blessum ‘25 stated, “Going into the game, we were thinking we know what we have to do … We had a long season, we just knew we were ready.”

The game started off hot as the Dragons quickly made their presence known on the court with several impressive shots from beyond the arc put up by Ashton Brown ‘26. The Diamondbacks knew they needed to make up ground fast to prevent an early lead from the Dragons.

Nick Drucker ‘26 (number 5) pulls up for a three-point shot after his defender gives him space to shoot. Drucker helped facilitate Foothill Tech’s offense with his many baskets from the three-point range. (Rihanna Samples)

However, with the rim playing hard to get, Serrano’s players found little success early on, as the first quarter ended with the Dragons leading 16-9.

The second quarter allowed Foothill Tech to further advance their lead as they kept the Diamondbacks a safe distance away from any chance at a comeback in the later half. Foothill Tech’s Nick Drucker ‘26 was a key piece in the success of the team, with several fast-breaking layups, the Dragons found themselves continuing their lead 35-23.

Foothill Tech student and avid basketball fan Gavin Heiberger ‘26 shared his excitement for the game as he expressed strong support for the team’s impressive progress, “I’m here cheering for Foothill Tech, our team is strong and I’m thrilled to see how far they’ve come.”

During the fourth quarter, Foothill Tech pulled ahead as their offense came together cohesively. From the mid-range jumpers of Brody Baker ‘26 (number 23) to the three-point shots of Brown and Drucker to the combined efforts of the entire team, Foothill Tech finished with the winning score of 54-43. (Rihanna Samples)

The second half began slow as the fight for possession waged on between the two teams. Both the Dragons and the Diamondbacks boasted strong performances in the quarter and with a charge called on Brown early into the quarter, Serrano saw an opportunity to seize a potential lead.

This would come far too late as the Dragons continued to assert their dominance on the court which led into the final quarter of the game with Foothill Tech up substantially. Brody Baker ‘26, in combination with Brown, let off several mid-range shots which sealed the fate of the Diamondbacks with a final score of 54-43.

Drucker commented on his performance in the game and the adversity he faced to get to the win, “I think I played really good, obviously I was sick so I missed a few games. So this really built my confidence back and it’s great to get a win.”

The Dragons hope to continue their winning momentum into the CIF quarter-finals against Big Bear High School (Big Bear) on Feb. 13, 2024, where they will play on Big Bear’s home court.

With the sound of the buzzer signaling the end of the game, the Dragons, along with their coach, Jamal Brown, leaped up from the bench cheering and embracing each other after another CIF win. (Rihanna Samples)
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About the Contributors
Dane Dodos
Dane Dodos, Reporter
“I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal.” - Ron Burgundy
Rihanna Samples
Rihanna Samples, Multimedia Editor
A junior who is constantly looking at the world through the lens of a camera.

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