WILD CARD to ROUND 1: Boys Basketball Move on to Round 2 for CIF

Seniors Shiloh Emanuel (#12) and Diego Martinez (#20) and Sophomore Jordan Bateman (#14) try to get possession of the ball against Trojan player Brel Fields.

High school Boys Basketball played back to back games for the CIF Southern Section playoffs, first against the Silver Valley Trojans on Tuesday night, February 11th, and then played  Wednesday Night, February 12th, against the California Military Institute Rough Riders.

Tuesday night, on February 11th, ended with a 22 point lead by the Jaguars, 88-66. Senior Shiloh Emanuel (#12) contributed 24 of the 88 points scored.

Tuesday’s game against the Trojans was stale to those who attended. Senior cheerleader Cameron Quijada notes that, “It was empty. There wasn’t anybody there. We [Cheerleaders] weren’t even all there ourselves.” Some of the boys and Quijada agree, “We took it lightly because we were really confident we were going to win.” Quijada also continues that the earlier time at 5:30pm rather than the boys usual 7pm games might have contributed to the quiet and small crowd at the game. “It made me kind of sad because CIF is a really big thing and despite us saying there was going to be a game, hardly anyone showed up.”

Naretzi Velasquez
Barry Bai (#11) goes head to head against Silver Valley’s Ryan Flores (#20). In the background, Diego Martinez (#20), in help defense, watches Bai to make sure he can help in case Bai gets beat.

Besides the small crowd, the girls did continue to make noise and the boys played to win and were able to move onto Round 1 of CIF against the Rough Riders.

Wednesday night, February 12th, was another win with the final score 96-89. Of the 96 points, Senior Shiloh Emanuel (#12) contributed 29 points and Senior Ethan Emick (#10) contributed 22 points. 

The game began with the introduction of the Starters for the game. For the Jaguars, the usual starters for every game were called out, Shiloh Emanuel (#12), Ethan Emick (#10), Barry Bai (#11), Diego Martinez (#20), and Jordan Bateman (#14).

Bateman, the only sophomore starter, comments, “It feels really good being a starter on the Varsity Basketball team as a sophomore, especially since I didn’t play last year. “ Bateman was as enthusiastic as any of the other team members and continued, “I hope that we win and that we make a statement so we can get this banner for the first time in UP history.” Bateman was especially impressive during the game as he made 18 rebounds during the entirety of the game. 

Jeanine Martinez
Shiloh Emanuel (#12) and Travis Madden (#3) break the press as they were starting to figure out the Rough Riders defensive plans. The shift changed the momentum of the game and ultimately led to the Jaguars win against CMI.

During the game, conversations were electric as the Rider supporters seemed to have their own opinions about the refs calls. At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, when the Riders had a 10 point lead, a parent called out, “That was a bad call, Ref. And it was in our favor!” The specific call in particular was when the Jaguars stole the ball from Rough Rider #2, Joseph Milner, and was called a personal foul. 

At one point in the game, the Jaguar boys were down 20 points and were struggling to keep up with the Rider’s aggressive defense tactics. Scorekeeper Angela Baskaron expressed her doubts while she was keeping up with the scores, “Right before halftime, we were down by 20 points. At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, I got nervous.” Baskaron continues, “I didn’t think we were going to catch up.”

Besides the doubts, the Jaguars caught up after Augustus had a talk with the Jaguar boys, pointing out the Riders’ strengths and weaknesses to help the team iron out their plays. By the end of the 2nd quarter, the Jaguars had made 27 points, making the score 43-48, the Rough Riders leading by 5 points.

Coming back from half-time, the Jaguars scored another 27 points within the 3rd quarter and the Riders only 12. The change in attitude from the Jaguars came from team talk in the locker room, the boys telling each other, “We can play better than this.”

During their 4th quarter, the Jaguars came up with 26 points and the Rough Riders 29 points, but those points weren’t enough as the Jaguars took home the win with the final score of 96-89. 

At the end of the game, the boys celebrated and the Cheerleaders did their usual cheers, happy to be there for the boys. When they went back inside to go get their stuff, the girls created a tunnel and cheered on the boys when they made their way out.

As they made their way out, Senior Travis Madden (#3) held his little sister in his arms and the boys came out with smiles on their faces, knowing that they were going to be playing Friday for Round 2 of CIF. 

Ambur Quijada
The Jaguar boys take a victory photo with the high school Cheerleaders. Barry Bai takes the iconic position of posing in the front with peace signs, just as he did during the 2018-2019 year.

However, Friday is Valentine’s Day so that means some of the boys have to cut their plans. Senior Sarahi Quiroz is a huge supporter of the team and also for her boyfriend, Ethan Emick. “I love attending basketball games because I love supporting all the boys and because I get so much adrenaline. It’s always like a rush of so many emotions, especially CIF away games. There’s less people supporting the boys so the few people that go have to be the ones who support them.” Even though Round 2 lands on Valentine’s Day, Quiroz stays supportive and excited for the boys. “I’m really excited to see them play on Valentine’s because I know how much Ethan loves to play so I’m glad I get to spend it with him, at least supporting him while he does something he loves and that I love to watch.”

The boys celebrated their win with a photo, a nod to the photo they took last year when they also won CIF round 1. During one photo from a series of multiple, Sophomore Julius Scruggs (#5) did a pose that his older brother David Scruggs, who graduated last year, did when he won Round 1 of CIF during the 2018-2019 year. Scruggs comments, “I did the same pose as my big bro because that’s my big bro and ever since I was younger, I would always try to copy what my older brother did.” Scruggs finishes off happily, “It’s just a little brother thing, I guess.

The boys continue their CIF journey this Friday, February 14, against the Cathedral City Lions.

Ambur Quijada
After an intense game against the Nuview Bridge Knights on February 8, 2019, for Round 1 of their CIF games, the high school boy basketball team of the 2018-2019 year pose for a photo with the Cheer team. The boys won by just one point, Barry Bai making the winning shot.