First Tournament Game Ends in a Loss: Perseverance for the Season


Jeanine Martinez

High Hopes! Senior Shiloh Emanuel (#12) jumps high into the air as he attempts to block Excelsior's #23 from taking a shot during the 4th quarter. As he leaps, Sophomore Jordan Bateman (#14) and Senior Barry Bai (#11) stand by ready to help get the ball to their side for a possible shot.

Jeanine Martinez, Editor-in-Chief

Not only is Winter coming around, but also a new Basketball season. The high school basketball boys are pumped and ready for their upcoming games, starting with a preseason tournament hosted by Riverside Prep.

With the tournament being hosted November 18 through November 22, and picking back up again for a final game on Saturday, November 23, the boys played their first game on Monday the 18th, against Excelsior Charter, and were more than excited to finally get some on-the-court action after practicing and preparing for so long.

Jonathan Leung
At Riverside Prep, the boys yell out their chant before the start of the game. Just before this, at school, in the home gym, the boys crowded around each other and got excited as they played around with a new cheer. The fun only continued when they actually began the chant, falling apart in laughter, genuinely enjoying themselves as they hyped each other up for the first game of the tournament.

The bus ride over to Riverside Prep was quiet as most of the boys found peace in listening to varying playlists on their phones and others chose just to chat with those without earbuds to use.

As the bus traveled through Victorville and into Oro Grande, Senior Ethan Emick began to share energy bars, courtesy of Coach Augustus, which the team happily accepted being able to choose from cookie n’ cream or chocolate chip. However, that was just the mundane stuff.

The magic happened when the boys’ feet met the asphalt of Riverside Preps’ parking lot and it only intensified as they walked into the gym, making their way to an enclosed locker room area where Coach Augustus and Coach Bradley spoke to the boys.

Coach Bradley, a new assistant coach to Augustus, is new to the University Prep scene but stood proud next to his boys as they made their way to do some drills on the court. Coach Bradley notes that “It’s been great. They took me in very easily. They’ve been together for such a long time already. It’s like, you know, I was an outsider coming in and they accepted me very well. They listen, they play hard, they do everything you need them to do.” 

More than that, Coach Bradley shared that this season, he is “just trying to make sure we stay focused on our task at hand. Sometimes it’s easy to forget where we come to do and, you know, sometimes you gotta keep reminding ourselves what we are here for as a team. So maintaining focus is our main goal. Because, like I said, we have big dreams to achieve and sometimes we can lose sight of that.”

The boys started out strong during their first plays but ended up with a tie for the first half of the game. With Senior Shiloh Emanuel (#12) on the court calling out plays, the boys were alert and made shot after shot during the first quarter and it ended 13 to 7, University Prep leading by 6 points. Second quarter was a different experience, however, as the Excelsior Eagles made 15 points and the Jaguar boys making only 9, making the score 22 to 22 with the two teams tied.

Jeanine Martinez
Senior Travis Madden (#3) goes for a basket against Excelsior’s #11 who attempts to block his shot.

At half time, the boys retreated to the locker rooms for a talk from their coaches. Coming out, there was a new spark of interest from the boys as they made their way back onto the court for quarters 3 and 4.

The last half of the game was a battle between the two teams, Jaguars vs. Eagles, in a fight for those winning shots. Third quarter produced 18 additional points for University Prep and 11 for Excelsior, bringing the score 40 to 33. But, besides the Jaguars’ best efforts, quarter 4 ended with Excelsior winning by just one point, bringing the final score 55 to 56.

Although the boys lost the game, the overall outcome from the game wasn’t just loss, it was a new drive to find and take care of their weak spots while highlighting one of their strengths, perseverance.

Senior Ethan Emick (#10), caught before the start of the game, commented, “You know, there’s a lot of times when teams are down and they just give up. But, if there’s one thing we emphasize, its to never give up and keep pushing no matter what the score may be.” Mirroring this statement, the boys have hope knowing there are more games to play and look forward to in the season.

Highlighting why the University Prep Jaguar boys are more than just your average team, Emick finishes, “We’re young. We’re very grounded. We know that it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to our goal, and that goal is a championship.”


The tournament continues as the University Preparatory High school Boys Basketball team goes up against Academy for Academic Excellence on Wednesday, November 20 at 3pm.


Retraction: 11/20/2019 @12:41 pm: The story was changed as follows:

November 2o was changed to November 22

15 shots was changed to 15 points

Junior Barry Bai was changed to Senior Barry Bai