It is sad to hear that the Van Nuys boys’ basketball season is over, but looking back at the season, the Wolves showcased formidable players, great talent, and vast improvement of the program in recent years.
This season marked the second year in the row where the Wolves made it to the CIF semifinals, a feat that has not occurred in over 19 years. Unfortunately, the run for the championship ended on Feb. 27, when the team experienced a loss Kennedy High School, 70-64. Nevertheless, the boys had many accomplishments.
The No. 3 CIF Division III ranked Wolves entered the first rounds of playoffs on Feb. 18, where they faced Fulton High School at home court. The boys were able to come back from a 12-point deficit with only four minutes left in the game. Senior Sam Gutierrez made the winning shot that gave Van Nuys the win, 58-56.
Following the exciting win, the Wolves were set up to go against Jordan High School in the quarterfinals. Van Nuys was able to pull off another win against Jordan with a score of 57-40. Pumped with adrenaline and excitement, the Wolves entered the semifinals.
However, the Wolves were unable to pull off another win.
“We just couldn’t adjust to the press,” Coach Evan Porter said. “The pressure got to us. We missed too many easy shots, too.”
“It hurts losing to an inferior team in the semifinals; there’s no denying that,” said Senior and Co-Captain Philip Feldman. “I pictured the words ‘Van Nuys Basketball’ having more of a ring to them by the end of my senior year, but sadly they don’t. Nonetheless, I love my team and my coaches. I’ve made life-long friends and played some ball.”
Feldman knows the team has a bright future with Coach Porter.
“I know I’m leaving the program in the capable and competent hands of Coach Porter and his staff, and I wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” he said.
Regardless of the outcome to the season, the Wolves have much to be proud of. In recent years, Van Nuys has witnessed a rejuvenation of the boys’ basketball program under the coaching of Evan Porter.
The end of the season will be saying goodbye to five seniors: Mitchell Smith, Kyle Lord, Kyle Miranda, Gutierrez and Feldman.
With this new momentum in the Van Nuys boys’ basketball team, we can’t wait to witness this upward trajectory in the next season.