BY MARK BRENT
On Tuesday, January 10th, the Cooper City High School boys’ varsity basketball team played a nail-biting district game against the Nova Titans. Although the game came down to the wire, the Cowboys could not manage to come out on top, losing 66-53.
In the first period, good defense was played on both sides of the ball. It was a back-and-forth quarter due to the impressive three pointers from the Cowboys’ Christopher Allen. Nova’s plan from the start was to use their height to their advantage, and they proved this throughout the first quarter. At the end of the period, the Cowboys were down 15-11.
“One thing we can improve on is our display of energy, which clearly makes a big difference in games,” Senior Guard Ricardo Nieves said. “Due to injury, we have had a number of people step up and lead games with tremendous stats.”
After a quick pep-talk by Senior leaders Noah Peska and Ricardo Nieves, the Cowboys came out with fire. The second period was the turning point of the game. As #31 Griffith secured rebounds and the Cowboys played good defense, opportunities arose.
“We are doing good enough to be able to compete with anybody,” Nieves said. “The atmosphere is different, and we are growing great chemistry and confidence.”
The Cowboys managed to score 17 points in the second period, as Nova was held only to 6 points, making the game 28-21 at halftime.
Nova came out in the third period with vengeance. Nova center Shemar Bennett proved to be too much of an offensive force, managing a double-double by scoring 12 points and securing 12 rebounds for the Titans. Down by 5 points with less than 10 seconds remaining in the quarter, the Cowboys quickly dribbled up the court and hit a three pointer as the time expired. The quarter ended with a Nova lead of 42-40.
The Cowboys seemed to fall apart in the fourth quarter. They were missing shots and giving up baskets to the Titans. Nova player Shemar Bennett sealed the game with a merciless dunk during the closing stages, and although the Cowboys gave it their all, they could not seem to make a comeback. The game ended with a score of 66-53, and the Cowboys’ district record fell to 2-4.