Boys basketball makes first appearance in Sweet 16 since 2013-2014 season

 The varsity boys basketball team has had one of the best years since 2013, making it to the Sweet 16 for the first time since coach Mike Gibbs started at HR in 2015. This is also the best the boys have done since prior HR varsity boys basketball coach, Bob Caton, in 2013.

  The boys went 16-10 this season with a league record of 4-6. They also had their 2nd best state record since 2015 at 27th.

 Going into the playoffs, the boys knew they would have a difficult time making it far. The first round was a breeze, beating Vista PEAK Prep 49-38.

 In the second round, they had to play Regis Jesuit, which they played just a week prior and lost 57-52. The game was close, beating them by only one point with a buzzer beater shot by junior Ryker Cisarik.

 They then faced Smoky Hill in the Sweet 16. In their first game this season against Smoky Hill, Smoky Hill beat Ranch by 31 points with a final score of 81-50. Keeping the Smoky Hill Game results in mind, Gibbs prepared the boys for the hardest game they would play all year.

 “Executing offense and defense is the most important part of our game,” Gibbs said. “Practicing like we would play in the game is a must.” Tristan Hurdle, junior and team captain, said, “Focusing on our game plan and making sure everyone was on board was very important for our success this season.”

 In the second game against Smoky Hill in the 2018-2019 season, HR only lost by 17. The final score was 53-36, Smoky Hill.

   Yafet Mesfin, junior and team captain, said, “This year, especially against Smoky Hill, is a great opportunity for us as a team to learn and build for next year.”

With the season at its end, Gibbs is starting to prepare for his 5th season as head coach at HR. With a senior- loaded team next year, he believes they can make it deep into the playoffs. Gibbs said, “If the boys work hard in the off season, we expect the same result, if not better.”

 As Gibbs reflects on his best season at HR, he said, “This season was a testament to the kids, their hard work throughout the season, and the time invested to this program. This season was exciting for the players, the student body of HR , and the community.”

Alex Willman, Staff Reporter

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Varsity boys basketball practice. Photo by Michael de Guzman