Boys basketball’s undefeated season collapses against Redwood

Senior Center, Charles Preston (#24) shoots over Redwood’s Ainsworth Fish.

Rod Miles

Senior Center, Charles Preston (#24) shoots over Redwood’s Ainsworth Fish.

The COVID-19 Omicron variant has hit AWHS hard, including the players on the boys Varsity basketball team. Since their return from Winter Break on Jan. 5, 10 players and one coach on the AWHS boys Varsity basketball team have tested positive for COVID-19. The team has been forced to cancel practices and has lost their beloved student section, who now view games via YouTube live streams.  

With limited players and practice time, the Falcons suited up against Redwood High School on Thursday night, Jan. 13. Redwood was 4-1 in league play coming into the game and the Falcons shared first place with Marin Catholic and Branson, all of which were undefeated. 

For such a highly anticipated matchup, the game environment was dry due to its scarce attendance and student interaction.

 “We missed the student section tonight, there wasn’t much energy in the gym, the big plays didn’t have much effect on the game because of it,” said senior center, Charles Preston

The Falcons came out flat, only scoring eleven points in the first two quarters. This was uncharted territory for the team, considering they were averaging 29.5 points in the first half throughout the season up until Thursday’s game. 

“We came out cold and with no energy, Redwood’s combination of size and athleticism was something we hadn’t faced this year,” Charles said. 

Redwood’s primary skill came in the form of junior forward Ainsworth Fish. He stands at 6’5” weighing 200 pounds and was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points. 

“[Ainsworth is] a great player,” Charles said. “He hit some big shots down the stretch. However, next time we will have a better game plan for him.”

The Falcons were trailing for the majority of the game and struggled offensively. Charles and senior forward Will Heimbrodt accumulated all the Falcons’ points up until the three-minute mark in the third quarter, when senior guard Jack Wuthnow hit a three to bring the Falcons within seven points of Redwood.

 

Redwood played well tonight, but we have to come out with more energy and play better together as a unit,”

— Bret Tovani

“We have to get back to what we were doing prior to tonight, we know that we are getting into a difficult stretch schedule-wise,” said head coach Bret Tovani. “We don’t have a lot of practice time in between these three-game weeks and in some cases we haven’t been able to practice at all. These things impact our ability to put a product on the floor night in and night out.”

The valiant efforts from Charles (10 points and 6 rebounds) and Will (18 points and 5 rebounds) ultimately fell short, and the Falcons were dealt their first loss of the season 45-41. 

“Redwood played well tonight, but we have to come out with more energy and play better together as a unit,” Tovani said.

Despite setbacks, the Falcons look to regain their momentum against an undefeated Marin Catholic squad this Saturday, Jan, 15. Fans should tune into the AWHS Athletics YouTube live stream to support their team.