The Matadors were ahead for most of Friday’s game with their biggest lead at 12 points, a huge difference from their 25 point loss to LHS earlier in the season. But a strong LHS defense late in the game and missed shots by the Matadors led the Vikings to carry the game, which took place on 2/10, into overtime.
“We were in it, we had the lead, and then they made more plays than us down the stretch in the last couple minutes, and then Josh came in and made a big shot to tie it up,” junior Ryan Lee said.
At the beginning of the game, LHS won the tip off, but MVHS was still able to make seven successive points before LHS’ first layup. An LHS player was fouled, and brought the score to 7-4. A pass-heavy offense combined with a three-pointer from junior Ryan Lee put the score at 14-4 with just under three minutes to go. As the quarter ended, LHS sank multiple three-pointers and got the rebound off of their own missed attempt, leaving the score 14-12 at the end of the first quarter. However, MVHS was still in the lead.
MVHS opened the second quarter with a three-pointer, but successive layup attempts from senior Aditya Mohan were blocked by a strong LHS presence in the paint. Sophomore Akshay Gopalkrishnan was fouled while attempting a three-pointer and made all three free-throws. After a layup from junior Zachary Whong, and aggressive defense and rebounding by the whole MVHS team, LHS squeezed in a two-pointer on the fast break. Another two-pointer from Whong and another LHS layup left the score at 25-16 at the half.
As the second half began, Lee was fouled and made both shots, giving MVHS an eleven-point lead. LHS replied with a three-pointer and several layups, while Gopalkrishnan and Lee both made jump shots keeping the Matadors ahead by eight points. Mohan and Gopalkrishnan sank successive three-pointers, but LHS replied with seven consecutive points. The MVHS defense began to lighten up in order to avoid foul trouble, but this resulted in a shrinking lead as they entered the third quarter 34-37. LHS would eventually continue this momentum to win the game.
A strong LHS defense pushed the Matadors out of the paint, and the team was only able to make one two-pointer in the fourth quarter. After three LHS layups, Whong drained a three-pointer after a series of passes. Gopalkrishnan missed several three-pointers while LHS added five more points to their side of the scoreboard, giving them their first lead of the game. Mohan was fouled and made both shots, but LHS made another layup. With 26 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Chang sank a three-pointer, tying the game.
Aggressive MVHS defense caused LHS to be fouled repeatedly, but missed free throws from both sides kept the game tied. Chang missed a three-pointer just as the clock ran out, and the game went into overtime.
LHS won the overtime tip-off and an LHS player was fouled, making both shots. Gopalkrishnan missed a three, and LHS responded with their own three-pointer. Lee stole the ball, made a layup and was fouled twice but did not make any of his free throws. A contested LHS layup was good and the score was 49-54, until Whong made a three-pointer with 10 seconds left, leaving the final score at 52-54 in LHS’ favor.
“We got a good play off,” Lee said. “It’s just that I think too many of us went to the same spot, so then there was a lot of defense there so when we tried to get off the shot… we got blocked.”
The Matadors have their last home game of the season on 2/14, against Saratoga HS.