Winter sports post-season success

Jessica Lee and Brandon Miramontes

Boys Basketball

After defeating Tracy, the boys basketball team made it to the Sac-Joaquin playoffs for the second time in five years.

Coach Rod Cortez said the team’s success is largely due to the boys’ dedication, determination, and hardwork as well as the many skilled players on the team.

During the off-season, pre-season and season, the boys worked hard on building their stamina and team chemistry.

The team ended the season with a 6-4 record.

“We’ve been going to every game, thinking it’s our last, and going all out,” senior Jadon Henry said.

“The team has been working pretty hard,” Cortez said. “They have been hitting the gym really religiously too.”

The boys won their neutral playoff game – a game played to determine which team advances to the first round when there is either an odd number of teams – against Beyer High School, 67-54.

“We pushed the ball up the court and got it into the basket,” Cortez said.

The boys prepared for the game against Del Oro, mentally and physically, by repeatedly practicing different plays and drills. The team focused on staying calm and making sure that they didn’t make any critical mistakes that could cost them the game.

Unfortunately, the team lost against Del Oro High School, 51-78.

“Del Oro was a big team with skilled players,” Cortez said. “The team tried their best and played their hardest.”

Girls Basketball

Blood, sweat and tears has led the girls basketball team to the playoffs once again.

“The dedication that we had starting last March all the way  to now has been really incredible,” coach Jason Lowrey said.       “The girls have worked super hard and it’s really showing on the basketball court. We’ve been having a lot of success because of how much time we put in and how much time that we work.”

The girls’ hard work showed when they beat their biggest rival Tracy in the home and away game, 43-29 and 47-37 respectively.

The team ended its season with a 8-2 record, with one more win than last season.

Lowrey says that the team has several talented players, all with different strengths who make the team a success.

Sadly, the Lady Bruins lost in the first round of playoffs against Buhach Colony High School, 47-60.

“The result certainly wasn’t what we were looking for,” Lowrey said. “We were looking to come out and get the first playoff win in Bear Creek girls [basketball] history that has happened for us [but] Buhach Colony was very, very aggressive. I thought we did a few good things but, at the end of the day, Buchach was just a little better than us. They deserved to win.”

Lowrey plans to work on shooting and passing for all players, man-to-man defense, and any other areas in need of improvement during off-season to ensure that next year’s team can grab that elusive first playoff win.

Wrestling

The wrestling team saw a substantial improvement from last season, going from only five or six wrestlers who qualified for divisional tournament to 10. The varsity boys who qualified for divisionals are freshman Jass Powell, sophomore Aaron Rugnao, junior Sohib Ezubeik, and seniors Raymond Rivera, Daniel Alatoree, Tristen Smith, Rudy Blanco and Brandon Gonzalez. The varsity girls who qualified for the state tournament are sophomore McKenzie Bacich and senior Inesha West-Taylor.

Coach Harold Bacich said the increase in wrestlers making it to divisionals is largely due to the players’ efforts and their dedication to the sport.

“They’re a really hard working group, all of them,” Bacich said. “They put in a ridiculous amount of work every day during off-season, pre-season and season. Most of them work year round to get to where they are.”

“This year I worked a lot harder,” Rugnao said. “I did a lot more practicing. Last year, I did the minimum. This year, I did practice outside of school.”

The boys competed in the SJS Division 1A Wrestling Tournament on February 21.

Rugnao and Smith placed second, qualifying for the SJS Masters Tournament.  On March 1, Smith placed fourth at the SJS Masters Tournament, qualifying for the CIF State Tournament.

The girls competed  in the CIF Girls State on March 1. Bacich and West-Taylor placed in the top six. Bacich placed second, making her the first female wrestler in Bear Creek history to place in multiple state meets, and West-Taylor placed fifth.