Freshman boys dominate Minooka in season opener, winning 50-29

Freshman forward Josh Lopez takes the tip-off for the Wolves to start Friday night’s game. “I was definitely excited for our first home game this year,” Lopez said. “I’m definitely excited for our team’s future.” Photo by Payton McCullum.

On Friday, East’s freshman boys’ basketball team showed up and showed out in their home opener for the season against the Minooka Indians, winning handily, 50-29.

Going into the game, the team’s focus was to dominate on the defensive end of the court, a playstyle that East has emphasized over the years. And that defense definitely played a key role in the win.

Freshman guard Reggie McWaine said that the team’s performance on the defensive side of the court was important to their success.

“I think we played really good, really aggressive on defense,” McWaine said. “It definitely helped us get the win tonight.”

The Wolves came out of the gate ready to roll, scoring just seconds after the tip-off with a quick layup by McWaine. From there, the first quarter was a tight battle, ending with the Wolves up 15-12.

After the break, the Wolves started to click on both ends of the court, hitting shot after shot while minimizing Minooka’s offense, ending the first half with an impressive 13-2 run and leading the Indians 28-14 going into halftime.

It all went up from there.

After halftime, the Wolves caught fire, putting up loads of points in no time at all. The team’s play seemed flawless with every play ending in a bucket.

Freshman forward Josh Lopez said that he felt that the Wolves’ execution on both ends of the floor was a huge contributor in taking down Minooka. 

“We did good on defense with pressuring the ball,” Lopez said. “And when they made mistakes, we jumped on them.”

This run of perfect play continued throughout the second half, with the third quarter ending with the Wolves on top, still at 39-25.

The fourth quarter was a lot more of the same as the Wolves went on another remarkable run to seal the deal. While tacking on 11 more points to their total, the Wolves only allowed the Indians four points in the fourth, a testament to the grueling brand of defense they put on display.

By the end of the game, the Wolves had easily defeated the Indians, 50-29. Lopez said that he was pleased with the performance, even if it wasn’t perfect.

“We matched up great against Minooka,” Lopez said. “We still have things to work on in practice but we had a great game.”

Freshman guard Myles Buchanan said he also felt happy with the team’s victory.

“Our defense really helped us out tonight,” Buchanan said. “We got a lot of stops and we were able to get rebounds.”

Head Coach Brandon Cooks said that he was proud of the Wolves’ successful outing against a decent opponent in Minooka.

“We did great despite it being so early in the season,” Cooks said. “We could definitely get better at guys knowing where they are supposed to be on the court but, overall, we hit big shots when we needed to [in order] to finish up the game.”

The freshman boys will play their next home game on Thursday against Yorkville High School.

Payton McCullum is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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