Boys Varsity Basketball Loses to Drake


Fans packed Gus gym on Friday night to watch the varsity boys’ basketball team (1-3 MCAL, 3-12 overall) take on MCAL powerhouse Drake (3-1 MCAL, 10-5 overall). Tam put up an impressive fight for 3 quarters, but Drake pulled away at the end to seal the 66-53 victory.

Tam moved the ball well and quickly collected a pair of layups, as well as a three-pointer from senior RJ Cutkelvin. Drake was able to match Tam point-for-point, but Cutkelvin got into a rhythm and Drake couldn’t keep up. Drake was forced to call a timeout down 13-17, but was able to regroup and improve their level of play. They pushed the score even towards the end of the first, but senior and Tam News editor-in-chief James Finn knocked down a jumper at the buzzer, giving Tam a 21-19 lead heading into the second quarter.

It was all Tam for the first four minutes of the second quarter. Cutkelvin was locked in and the crowd grew increasingly louder with each shot that went down. The crowd reached its loudest point halfway through the quarter, when sophomore Noah Haynesworth escaped on a breakaway and soared for an authoritative two-hand slam dunk. Tam had a 29-20 lead, but Drake remained consistent and was able to tie the game at 33 after some Tamalpais miscues.

The slight lapse in precision didn’t diminish the shooting performance, however, and Cutkelvin reminded everyone of that by draining one final three-pointer with just two seconds left on the clock. Cutkelvin had 18 points in the first half, going five for seven from the three point line.

When asked about Cutkelvin’s performance in the first half, head coach Tim Morgan simply stated, “I mean RJ is RJ, man. RJ can shoot, he looks to shoot, and when he’s going, you’ve got to let him play his game.”

Tam took a 36-33 lead into the second half, and the third quarter started with both teams trading points. Drake’s defense strengthened, however, causing Tam to shoot at a lower percentage. With 5 minutes left in the quarter, Drake’s three-pointer took them into their first leading position since the first quarter, 41-40. Drake seemed to have possession for the majority of the quarter, but Tam fought to keep it close and as the fourth quarter started, Tam snuck back up, 50-48.

In the fourth quarter, Drake took advantage of some major plays to shift the momentum in their favor. With four and a half minutes remaining, they jumped ahead 56-50. Tam would’t go ahead of Drake’s score for the game’s remainder.

Morgan talked about Tam’s shift in performance, saying, “Our guys play [with] a lot of heart…when we play our games we’ve got to focus on the three things we can control – that’s effort, execution, [and] playing together. We did that for three quarters tonight but in the fourth quarter they picked up the pressure…we kind of got away from the execution and togetherness.

“Our effort and our passion stayed. Drake’s a top-two team in the league in my opinion and they’ve got a couple monsters out there that can score at will, and you know, our guys played them tough.”

Coach Morgan is optimistic when speaking about what lies ahead for the team. “We’ve just got to continue to do the things that we do well…if we go out and beat the teams we’re supposed to beat and go and knock off one of these big boys [then] we’ll be right back in the playoffs like we were last year. That’s always our goal.”