Cherokees defeat rival Wildcats in 64-49 win


Abigail Wang, Opinion Editor

Sequoia toppled Woodside in a scrappy 64-49 win. The match-up was significant as the Cherokees not only faced their rival Wildcats, but also celebrated senior night. Sequoia started the first quarter trailing 15-20. Woodside made a clean break thanks to sophomore Gabe Devitis who led the Wildcats with four three pointers.

The second quarter brought a more focused Sequoia as they tried to adjust their defensive style, applying more pressure. Although Woodside was still able to sneak some three’s, Sequoia shortened the Wildcat’s lead by putting more points on the scoreboard. On the buzzer sophomore, Jonathan Heist tied the game 33-33 at the half for the Cherokees.  

After a tumultuous first half the Cherokees recognized the improvements that needed to be made ahead.

“In the first half we were so anxious to get quick scores, but in the second half coach told us to slow it down, and we opened on fast breaks in our sets, and so we calmed down on the offensive side,” said junior, guard N’jai LeBlanc, who led the Cherokees with 18.

From the outside it looked anything but calm. The fans erupted in cheers as Sequoia came out fired up in the third quarter, gaining easy points through their quick passing game. LeBlanc and sophomore, center Ziggy Lauese worked to bring the Cherokees to a clean lead of 50-42 at the end of the quarter through their combination plays.

The Cherokees sat comfortably in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats struggled to make their shots. LeBlanc was repeatedly fouled, allowing Sequoia to distance their lead. By the time the buzzer sounded, the Sequoia fans had long been cheering “I believe that we will win,” and they did: 64-49.

For many of the senior players the win was a bittersweet one as it was their last home game in the regular season.

“Basketball’s always been great for me,” said senior, center Gabi Bertero. “The coaches have always treated me very well, and I knew that if I came in and did what was asked of me then I would be rewarded for it,” he said. “It’s a sport that I love, and I love being able to drop everything all the homework, all the projects, and just play for two hours, it’s a break from everything and I appreciated that.”