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Boys' basketball sport shorts: Eagles beat Caruthers for first time in 6 years (VIDEO, PODCAST)

(Scrimmages do not count toward win/loss record. Visit the Sports Section for boys’ basketball features.) For a simple overview of scores and upcoming games, check the Winter sport box scores, 2011-12 for dates, opponents and times for all Eagle sports.

Be sure to visit the 2011-12 boys’ basketball schedule, home page, roster page, or check out The Eagles are currently 16-1 overall and 2-0 in the West Sequoia League as of Jan. 24. According to, FC is ranked 3rd in the state for D-V basketball.

The Eagles will continue the 2011-12 season with a home game against the Fowler Redcats at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

FC traveled down to Caruthers to face the defending West Sequoia League champs, Jan. 24. This was a huge game for the Eagles since they have not beaten the Blue Raiders since 2006. Though it was a Tuesday night, the gym was packed with eager fans from both sides. Both teams battled it out from the start of the tip. FC led during the entire game and ended up with a 56-30 victory.

As the game got underway, Caruthers denied senior Cooper Belmont the ball. Everywhere Belmont ran a defender was right in his grill. Despite this obstacle, the Eagles found other ways to score. Ryan Neufeld, ’12, took control and scored on multiple attacks to the hoop. Neufeld, who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds, helped give is team momentum early in the game.

While Caruthers was locking down Belmont, FC was responding with their own style of defense. Senior Brady Lee face-guarded former league MVP Jesus Magana, ’12. Magana, who averages 15.4 points a game, was held to 4 points the entire game. The Eagles played sound defense as a whole and ended the first with a 14-7 lead.

FC looked to push the tempo in the second quarter. Sharp shooter Chandler Vargas, ’12, hit a 3 to garner cheers from FC fans. Belmont broke free from his defender and scored 6 points in the second. The level of intensity was shot up as both teams fought to put the ball in the hoop. Caruthers set numerous screens in order to create space for an open look.

The Eagles played sound defense by forcing the Blue Raiders to shoot tough shots. Sophomore Khushbir Thind, who has made 49 3-pointers this season, was limited to just 2 3?s during the game. Going into halftime, FC led 24-14.

The Eagles came out confident and composed in the third quarter. They played solid half-court defense by pressuring their opponents. Ramandeep Singh, ’12, was strong in the paint, pulling down 5 rebounds.

The Eagles also executed on offense, scoring a quarter high of 18 points. Belmont was able to explode past his defenders and finished the third with 8 points. Due to FC’s defensive prowess, the Blue Raiders were held to 2 points in the quarter. Going into the fourth the score was, 42-16, FC.

Despite being held scoreless in the first quarter, Belmont ended up being the game high scorer with 18 points. He shares how it feels to be face guarded the entire game.

“It’s one of those things that you can’t let affect you no matter how annoying it is,” Belmont said. “I had to just tell myself to ignore it and trust my teammates.”

The Eagles had an extra long practice the night before in order to prepare for the Blue Raiders. Belmont feels like their solid preparation paid off in the game.

I think we did just about everything right,” Belmont said. “We played really hard on defense and our offense just came because we have athletic guys on our team.”

The Eagles had a 26 point lead with a single quarter to play. Rather than letting down, FC played hard to the end. Caruthers executed a full court press in an attempt to come back. Though this hindered FC for a couple plays, the Eagles were able to break through the press.

Junior Brandon McCormick came off the bench and scored an open lay-up in transition. Stephan Melendez, ’13, was fouled and went to the free-throw line. Melendez was 1 for 2 on the line and garnered thunderous cheers from his fans. The Eagles rallied together and finished with a 56-30 win.

Head coach Josh Justin is proud of his team for getting the job done. He also believes the support from their fans made the atmosphere fun and intense.

“We played amazing defense, which contributed to our victory,” Justin said. “We have not been able to beat Caruthers for many years, which makes this victory all the more special. We had an amazing crowd at tonight’s game. It was the best crowd we have had all year.”

The Eagles will next host the Fowler Redcats at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 27.

For more information on the Eagles season, check out
Boys? basketball sport shorts: FC defeats Tranquillity .

PODCAST: Basketball: The Big Game verses Caruthers, Jan. 24, 2012–

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  • J

    Jane GillespieJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Thanks for including us on your float. I must say, however..$120? I think I am worth more than that…like $150 at least;)

  • V

    viviana hinojosaJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    This years homecoming was so much fun! I really thought the sophomores were going to win because of the personal touches we added but the seniors did great!

  • B

    Brandon McCormickJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    This years homecoming turned out better than last year I thought. The floats were all good, the dress up days were creative, and the football game was fun. Thanks to everyone who supported!

  • J

    Jordana SiebertJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    It was such an HONOR to have a whole avenue! Thank you sophomores! Great job!

  • L

    Laura CasugaJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Sophomores did a great job on their float – loved the renamed properties. Very clever.

  • E

    Eric CowinJan 27, 2012 at 12:02 am

    It was definitely very fun participating with the float; especially dancing around, doing the worm, and going crazy on the float. Haha.