UC Varsity Boys Basketball Aims to Reach the Top


Pavle Ristic

Senior Ayden Lockett takes a shot during UC’s 60-45 League victory against La Jolla High School.

Jisang Yoo, Staff Writer

     The UC High Boys Varsity Basketball Team has worked incredibly hard to achieve the goals they set this season, and  it all paid off, game after game.

     According to MaxPreps, a high school sports statistics website, the Centurions  finished the regular season with a positive record of 14 wins and 12 losses. Last season, they finished with a record of 11 wins and 11 losses. Senior Jackson Snipas said, “The team is doing pretty good right now, and the players’ performances have shown improvements throughout the season” (maxpreps.com).

     The team uses their strengths on the courts to crumble the other team’s defense, and mentality. “Our ability to score and our efficient on and off-ball movements makes us a dangerous team. This ultimately makes it harder for the other teams to defend against us,” said Coach Alex Golland.

     Learning from the previous season, the team has analyzed their mistakes and improved significantly. Junior Riley Cass said, “I think the team has improved in scoring by adding a new offense that works more efficiently than last season.” Golland added, “In previous years, we’ve been a little bit more one-dimensional, but this year, we’re multifaceted.”

     There’s always something that could be improved on to help the team become more successful. Golland said, “To finish out this year and help us next year, our defensive focus and energy needs to be more consistent. Offensively, we have to play unselfishly and move the ball.”

     Key player Senior Ayden Lockett, has helped enhance the team’s performance in addition to coming up clutch in many close games. Sophomore Ben Gavani said, “Ayden is crucial to our team for numerous reasons. He is our point guard, he sets up our offense, he’s a great leader, and lastly, he’s fun to have on the court.”

     At the end of the season, the players recall many fun and eye-catching games. “My favorite game was against Mira Mesa, because I played well and the big crowd made the atmosphere thrilling,” said Junior Landon Carlson. Sophomore Ash Aka said, “My favorite game is probably when we played Hoover at home because so many people showed up and the end of the game was crazy.”

     The team roster is filled with juniors and sophomores. “The brawn of our team are juniors and sophomores. We have some ups and downs, but the outlook is optimistic for the future. The youth is very exciting and we got a few really good seniors, so it’s a good blend of kids that’s a fun team to coach,” said Golland.

     Senior Pavle Ristic plays a key role to motivate and hype up the team. Junior Cameron Neilson said, “ Pavle is our main hype guy. Before the game, we do a huddle and he talks about how hard we have worked to be in the position we are.”

     Although they ultimately fell short of their CIF Championship goal, the Centurions did manage the biggest upset in the San Diego playoffs when they beat third seeded Sage Creek.