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Mission Prep defeats boys in basketball semi-finals

After a short romp through the town of San Luis in between practice and game time, the boys’ varsity basketball team sauntered into the gymnasium and took their place in the stands barricading their nerves with headphones and cell phone games. The team waited the tip-off of round two of basketball playoffs against Mission Prep on Mar. 4.

After an effortless 56-29 win over Strathmore in the first playoff game on Feb. 28, it was clear that the bar must be raised to reach the goal of a Valley Division 5 Championship.

“Playing Strathmore was actually more stressful because they are a number six seed so we were expected to win,” Jon Steele, ’03, said. “We had nothing to lose with Mission Prep so we played hard and got in the lead by the third quarter.”

The mental processes in preparation for the game proved a more intensive one lasting from film study on the bus trek to Morro Bay until the last moments of pre-game warm-ups.

“Being at the coast took a lot of the pressure off our mental game,” Nathan Yockey, ’03, said. “It was nice to just be there all day, get some food, stretch our legs, and not worry about Mission Prep.”

Mission prep towered in the beginning but by half time the Eagles toiled their way to a three-point lead and declared their right to a win.

“We all prayed that we would be surprised and we were,” CJ Haydock, ’03, said. “It’s been a risky season bringing in players who have little experience but seeing that we could win ended the season in a good way overall.”

In the end however, Mission Prep regained their lead in the fourth quarter and defeated FC, 52-44. After a short stint in the lead, the loss was an especially bittersweet end to a lucrative season.

“The boys played hard and executed really well against Mission Prep,” Christopher Schultz, boys’ varsity basketball coach, said. “I was so proud of them for getting in the lead but that makes it that much more of a painful loss.”

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