Senior center Aaron Graves blows past defenders for an easy layup during the Cavs' 40-34 loss to visiting Sage Ridge on Feb. 8. (Photo by Elise Sommerhaug)

Despite strong start, boys varsity basketball team falls to Sage Ridge

The boys varsity basketball team, which led 17-3 in the second quarter, ultimately fell 40-34 to the Sage Ridge Scorpions of Reno, Nevada, on Feb. 8 at Country Day. The Scorpions scored 16 consecutive points to lead 19-17 and were tied 19-19 at halftime.

Sage Ridge (13-7 overall, 5-2 1A West League)  pushed to the lead in the third quarter, outscoring Country Day 17-3. 

The Cavs (1-18, 1-11 Sacramento Metropolitan Athletic League) had a 12-4 advantage in the fourth quarter as they made a final, unsuccessful offensive push to come back.

Cavs coach David Ancrum said the team was fatigued after its 75-40 loss at Valley Christian the night before.

“(The Scorpions) started making more shots, and the (team) was already tired,” Ancrum said. “So we need to work on our conditioning.”

Freshman forward Jacob Chand agreed.

“We got very tired in the end,” said Chand, who led the Cavs with 10 points and 10 rebounds. “In the third quarter, most of our starters were tired, and (the Scorpions) were getting fast breaks and moving the ball a lot.”

As for Sage Ridge’s slow start, Scorpions coach Brian Hanshew said the long drive from Reno didn’t help. 

“We have a tendency to start slow,” Hanshew said. “We try to come out with energy, but the long drive and it being a Saturday threw us off a little. (The Cavs’) defense at the start of the game really slowed us down, and it took us a while to figure it out. But after that, we found our groove.”

On the flip side, junior forward Max Wu said the Cavs had a hard time against the Scorpions’ defense.

“They pressured us at the baseline and had their guys on us, with only one player back,” Wu said. “Our spacing was bad on offense, so we didn’t get many opportunities to shoot. We need to work on moving and cutting around.”

Freshman forward Rod Azghadi said the team needs to maintain a winning mentality throughout the game.

“We got too comfortable (in the first half), and (the Scorpions) just played harder than us,” Azghadi said. “We have that fourth- and first-quarter mentality that we need to apply to the rest of the game.”

The Cavs’ next game is Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:30 p.m. against Sacramento Adventist (17-9 overall, 11-1 SMAL) at Country Day.

By Arijit Trivedi