The Bonsall High School boys’ basketball team kicked off the season Nov. 19, with win against St. Joseph Academy. Both teams played well, with the game neck-to-neck throughout.
The Bonsall Legionnaires were supported by a crowd of students whose chants and cheers could be heard from the sides of the basketball court as various three-pointers, lay-ups and interceptions were made. While the Crusaders put up a good fight, the Legionnaires worked hard, determined to claim victory in this year’s first game.
Hunter Robillard, Tyler Harmer, Nathaniel Valera, Emil Watkins and Billy Rahman took the court first for the Legionnaires. Though St. Joseph Academy started out with the ball, Bonsall High was the first to score. As the first quarter continued, Bonsall missed several shots, and the Crusaders made several free throws, putting the Crusaders in the lead.
The Legionnaires took possession going into the second quarter but the Crusaders stole it away several times and scored.
Nathaniel Valera scored an impressive three-pointer, followed by back-to-back three pointers not long after. This action drew cheers from the crowd, who believed that Bonsall now had a good chance of claiming victory. The boys ended the first half, trailing St. Joseph’s 22-25.
The third quarter started slowly, with St. Joseph Academy handling the ball first and making some points; likewise, Bonsall picked up momentum and started adding points to their score.
The fourth quarter score went back-and-forth, with the Crusaders keeping the lead. The last five minutes of the game were the most intense, as each team fought to start their season off with a win. The Crusaders ran into foul trouble, and Rahman tied the game with free throws.
Bonsall scored with more free throws and layups; they took the lead and kept it, winning 59-52.
“It was a hard-fought game. We were down for most of it, but we kept our heads up. Our shots weren’t falling, but we kept attacking. Our point guard had a lot of really good drives for the hoop to get easy baskets. We played amazing defense to get us back into it. Billy, our point guard, knocked down free throws at the end of the game to clinch the victory,” Robillard said.
The audience and Bonsall cheer team cheered and chanted, celebrating the team’s first win this season.
“We love you; thanks for coming out to support. We do this for you guys. It was a good turnout, and the crowd is what gets us going,” Taylor Gomez-Douglas said.
Coach Chuck Colletti said he was proud of the boys’ performance in the opening of the basketball season.
“For the first game of the year, we had a few little mistakes, but the biggest thing was that they played with heart. They hustled, and they did exactly what I asked, and that’s all that matters. I told them: ‘Win or lose, it doesn’t matter, just give 100%,’ and they did. I think as the season goes along, we’re going to be a dynamite team. We’re small, but we come out and play hard,” Colletti said.