Harvard-Westlake Varsity Boys Basketball took a big win against rival Notre Dame on Jan. 4. Back at full strength, Harvard-Westlake played well to finish the game. They closed out the game behind Junior Johnny Juzang’s strong fourth quarter. However, the beginning of the game was mostly controlled by Notre Dame. In the opening quarter, Notre Dame found themselves up by as much as six points.
Rolling behind their center Junior Ziaire Williams, who had a great showing and finished with 20 points, Notre Dame was commanding the ballgame. Senior Julian Rishwain also helped the Notre Dame offense. Rishwain and Williams combined for 35 points. However, Juzang of Harvard Westlake put up 21 points and overwhelmed the Notre Dame defense. The win for Harvard-Westlake was a team effort led by Juzang.
The win did not come easily. The final score was 58-50. Collectively, the Wolverines played great defense not allowing Notre Dame’s key players to take any easy shots. Centers Mason Hooks and Truman Gettings played a big role on containing shots at the rim. They provided good rim protection limiting the guards from driving to the hoop.
To add to the great defense, Freshman Wolverine Cameron Thrower, although playing limited minutes, was very efficient while on the floor. He locked up Notre Dame’s Rishwain, not allowing him to score. During the postgame, Thrower commented about the team’s victory: “It was a good team win. We followed the game plan throughout the game, and it proved to work because our team limited Ziaire Williams from affecting the game as much as he is used to. This game showed us that our team is capable of executing and that we have to move forward with the same intent.”
The coaches on both sides were heard throughout the gymnasium. They were both highly present in the atmosphere of the game. Fans of both teams were represented on either side of the gym. All fans were chanting loudly to fire up their players. However, the home crowd seemed to be louder and more effective as Notre Dame came up dry in the fourth quarter. The HW fans enthusiasm propelled their team to a victory.