La Jolla High boys basketball squeak past Scripps Ranch, 46-41, in defensive struggle


By Michael Ragovin

The La Jolla High School Vikings played Scripps Ranch High Falcons in boys basketball at La Jolla’s “Big Gym” on Nautilus Street, Jan. 19, 2013. It was a low-scoring battle from the beginning. Shooting percentages were low and defensive intensity was high. La Jolla came into the game averaging 54 points per game, but won the match 46-41.

Scripps got the opening tip, however, the first score didn’t come until 1:32 was gone in the first period on a lay-in by the Falcons. La Jolla answered immediately with a jumper from the key to knot the score at 2:00. There was no scoring until 5:30 left in the first period when Scripps scored on an uncontested lay-in making it 4-2 Falcons.

La Jolla followed with a lay-in and Scripps made four free throws. Each team had a three-pointer and the quarter ended 11-10 Scripps, after a couple more buckets.

There was no scoring in the second quarter until there was 4:49 left in the period. Almost half the quarter was gone as the Vikings scored from behind the arc giving La Jolla the lead for the first time, 13-11, which they never relinquished. The Vikings scored on a fast break, a three-pointer and a lay-in while the Falcons answered with a lay-in to make the score, 18-13 with 1:37 left in the second period.

Then, La Jolla drives to the basket for two and makes the free throw. Scripps hits a three from the corner and the Vikings make a two-point jumper at the buzzer. La Jolla takes a 7-point lead at the end of the first half, 23-16.

At the beginning of the third period Scripps came out in a zone and La Jolla stayed in their man-to-man defense, which proved to be very efficient as they held the Falcons to only 16 points in the first half. A jumper by Scripps closed the gap, 23-18. A free throw and offensive rebound by the Vikings and a three ball by Scripps made the score 26-21.

The Falcons made a free throw with 4:39 left. La Jolla then made a long 3-pointer from the top of the key, followed by a lay-in, and the score became 31-23 at the 4-minute mark. The Falcons made a free throw and a 2-pointer from under the basket to close out the scoring in the third period with La Jolla ahead 31-25.

The scoring picked up in the fourth period. Scripps made a run in the middle of the quarter scoring 10 points and limiting La Jolla to three. From that point on, the closest the Falcons got was five points as the game ended with La Jolla on top 46-41.

Matt Needham was selected as player of the game. He had 12 points and his two baskets late in the game sealed the victory. Zach Ohara was the leading scorer with 17 points.

After the game Vikings Coach Paul Baranowski said, “We are struggling to play man-to-man, but we thought this would be a good opportunity to work on it and they did a good job today.”