Boys’ Varsity Basketball Team Loses to Redwood at Home “White Out” Game

By Jack Goldman

Photos by Ethan Swope

A capacity crowd. A White Out event. A fitting setting for a rivalry game between Tam and Redwood. Fans screaming on both sides, preparing for the chaos to unravel itself on the basketball court.

“Every game is a big game,” Tam’s head varsity basketball coach Tim Morgan said before the game. “With Redwood, we care a little bit more. It makes for a fun atmosphere.”

The game would matter a lot. Going into the game, Tam only had a one game lead over Redwood in the MCAL standings. Tam had already defeated Redwood on January 3, winning by a score of 61-50, but for Redwood, this would be a revenge game. “I’m ready. I’m excited to play. It’s against Redwood so it means something to a Tam player,” said starting guard and junior Jack Duboff prior to the game.

Coming out of the gate, the fans played a big factor for the Hawks, as Tam started the game on a 12-2 run and ended the first quarter leading by eight. “Coming from a crowd, that definitely changes the game. I can feed off that energy and get hyped,” Duboff said. He took that energy and ran with it, scoring eight points in the first quarter to contribute to the great start. What really came into fruition, however, was the battle between the Tam crowd and the Redwood crowd, showing how much this game meant to both sides.

After the first quarter, however, Tam started to collapse from the inside. “[It] starts with defense. Rush the tempo. Get out and run,” Morgan told players before the game, but the strategy was used against the Hawks. When the tempo got out of hand it led to a 21-7 run by Redwood in the second quarter to end the half with a six point lead. “We started playing for the crowd instead of for the team,” senior and starting forward, Jacob Moeller said. “When things started to fall apart, the crowd energy disappeared and we started to implode. We have to get back to the basics.”

The third quarter seemed to go the same as the second, as Redwood built their lead to 15. However, things started to change, as junior forward Noah Haynesworth threw down a two-handed slam over two defenders. The crowd was back in it, the motivation swung in Tam’s favor. The Hawks went on a run after that and cut the lead down to eight at the end of the 3rd quarter.

The next quarter, however, tipped the balance again, as a backcourt violation call and multiple fouls contributed to another swing of momentum, this time in Redwood’s favor. The momentum reached its peak when Redwood center Alex Wilson threw down an and-one posterizer over senior guard, Jacob Moeller. That’s when the Redwood crowd was its loudest, and the Tam crowd was its quietest.

The game ended with Redwood pulling a convincing win over Tam, 67-53. “[It was a] tough loss. Redwood’s a really good basketball team. They outplayed us and they deserved to win,” Morgan said. Redwood used its press and their advantage in offensive rebounds to use Tam’s fast pace against them and go on scoring runs. “[We need to] continue to work on rebounding. Effort. We need to win 50-50 balls,” Morgan added. Duboff also addressed what needed to be worked on by saying, “Work on the press break. Stay calm out there, don’t be so upbeat.”

Maybe the rivalry got to the Tam players, in that they were so upbeat and excited that they were out of control and gave the game away. Maybe it was just the flu that was spreading around. In any case, the Hawks will be ready for a rematch of rivals, and the crowd will be ready as well. For now, the Hawks play at Marin Catholic, while Redwood returns home to face Novato on February 2, looking to break the tie in the MCAL standings.