The Tech High Titans suffered a crushing defeat (62-20) against the Roseland Knights last Friday, Dec. 14th in a basketball match held here in Rohnert Park.
Despite the difference in score, the Titans seemed almost proud of their performance—but that’s understandable. The Titans graduated five seniors last year, and for a small school like Tech High, that kind of attrition is hard to come back from. Nevertheless, Titan coach, Stan Cramer, expressed his commitment to the Sisyphean task of rebuilding the team.
“It’s like a one room schoolhouse over there,” Cramer said. “We just don’t have the horses right now. It was a good experience for the younger guys and the freshmen got a lot of playing time tonight. I just hope they stick together for four years.”
Right from the tip off it was clear even in the stands which team was the more experienced. The Knights seized the initiative early, plunging through the Titan lines like they were standing still. Knight, Leonardo Sanchez, gained possession of the ball after the Titans missed a three-point shot. He bobbed and weaved through the Titans, pulling in close to the basket, but the defenders closed ranks and blocked him. Sanchez, perhaps realizing his trouble, passed to his teammate, Erick Patino. Patino caught the pass and went for a layup. Two Titan defenders leapt to stop him, but they were too late. The ball sailed through their outstretched fingers and into the basket. Though they were inexperienced, the Titans didn’t let their opponent’s lead get into their heads. They kept calm, working together to score when they could and defend when they couldn’t. Their patience and careful play rewarded them when Titan forward, Matthew O’Brien, finally managed to worm his way near the basket.
O’Brien twisted around the defenders and fired off a shot. The ball sailed in a gentle arc, but collided with the rim, bouncing off to land in the scrum below. Another Titan, Abraham Arzola-Meza, regained possession. He leapt above the turning mass, but his shot too failed to go in. Luckily O’Brien came sweeping in from the side. He picked up the ball, stripping it from a Knight defender, and in a fade-away shot finally sank the basket his team so desperately needed. “We gave maximum effort but our execution was sloppy,” O’Brien said. “You could tell they were sharp. That’s why they put the ball in the hole more. “
Unfortunately, plays like O’Brien’s were the exception rather than the rule. For most of the game the Knights kept the Titans on the back foot. In the final few minutes of the match, the Knights closed out the game with a strong push by their forward, William Duncan. Duncan stole the ball right out of the hands of a Titan forward and charged the basket. Titan defender, Cayden Thompson, sallied out to stop Duncan, but before Thompson could arrive Duncan took a shot from the three point line. The ball sailed over the heads of the milling teams and through the waiting net.
The buzzer sounded just a few seconds later.
“Considering the circumstances I think we did really well,” Titan Sam Morrow said. “This is one of the best teams in the league. With the amount of freshmen we had I feel like we were able to hold our own. We did better than I thought we were going to do.”
Though the spread of points was demoralizing, many of the Titans went home with a smile on their faces. Their next game will be in Rohnert Park against Drew High School.