News Ticker

Winter CCS Recapped

Bill Braker, Sports Editor

The rain is beginning to halt, the sun is coming out from behind the clouds, and the spring sports are starting. The winter season of sports is officially over and the Longhorns have had incredible seasons.
The Lady Longhorn basketball team started the season slow going 5-5 in preseason. They caught fire in league play, going 13-1. After five consecutive wins to open league play, the Lady Longhorns suffered their first and only league loss at Westmont High School with a final score of 50-46. They won eight straight games to end their league competition, including a 56-37 win over Westmont on Senior Night to capture a co-league championship. With an overall record of 18-6, the Lady Longhorns were the sixth seed in the Division 2 CCS playoffs. They hosted the Pioneer Mustangs in the first round of the playoffs. The Longhorns outscored the Mustangs in the second half en route to a 55-44 win, advancing themselves to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal matchup brought the Longhorns and the third seeded Mountain View Spartans to Aragon High School in San Mateo. With a 20-19 lead at the end of the third quarter, the Longhorns caught fire to upset Mountain View 34-23. Senior Hannah Peterson had a double double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Three days later, the Longhorns travelled back to Aragon to face the Aragon Dons in the semifinals. Despite the homecourt advantage the Dons had, the Longhorns squeezed past the Dons 46-43 to advance to their first CCS final in school history. Their Cinderella story came to an end on March 4 when the Longhorns met the first seed, Presentation, at Santa Clara University’s Leavey Center. After leading by three at half, Presentation’s defense proved to be too much for the Longhorns. Presentation raced to a 48-33 win. It was a historic season for the Lady Longhorns and luckily they are only losing three seniors.
After an undefeated league record and a league championship under their belt, the men’s basketball team received a first round bye and the second seed in the Division 2 CCS Playoffs. Their postseason play began on February 25 where they took on the Aragon Dons at Santa Clara High School. The Longhorns had a sloppy first half and found themselves down by eight at the end of three quarters. Slowly, the Longhorns clawed back taking the game to overtime. With a 72-71 lead with under 10 seconds to go in the game, junior Ethan Thompson caught the ball up court and finished at the rack plus the foul to put the nail in the coffin and seal the win for the Longhorns. Ethan was 4-4 at the line and 7-7 from the field for a game high 19 points. The come from behind win was largely due to sophomore Dylan Johnson’s 18 points as well. Their semifinal game was a rematch of a game played in late December where the Longhorns defeated Valley Christian by two points on a late game two pointer by Kyle Johnson. The Warriors were hoping to avenge their loss at a time where the outcome meant more. Clearly the Warriors wanted revenge because they blew past Leigh 76-56 ending Leigh’s season. It was a record breaking season for the Longhorns and Coach Baldwin’s coaching staff has a lot to be proud of. Luckily they are only saying goodbye to two seniors.
A disappointing 6-10-2 record kept the men’s soccer team out of the CCS playoffs this year. The Longhorns finished sixth in the difficult BVAL-Mount Hamilton in front of Santa Teresa and Willow Glen. This news is not all negative, this could bring the Longhorns down a division next year, making league play much more easy.
The Lady Longhorn soccer team won their fourth league title in a row. They only lost once in league at the hands of Piedmont Hills, but it was not enough to dethrone the Lady Longhorns. Their 12-4-3 overall record gave them the sixth seed in the Open Division Playoffs. This division is composed of the top eight teams in CCS, bringing the competition level much higher. Despite beating Saint Francis earlier in the year, they travelled to their house for the opening round of the playoffs. Down 1-0 at half, the Longhorns could not find the back of the net in time to give themselves a legitimate chance at victory. Junior Avery Cannella scored with 10 minutes remaining, but it was too late. The Lancers beat the Longhorns 2-1, ending Leigh’s season. Luckily, Coach Bloom and her staff have composed a roster with a lot of experience for years to come. Their quest for their fifth consecutive league title is possible and probable.
Grant Kaiser, Trevor Kaiser, Leland Ledger, and Tyler Elder all represented the Longhorn Wrestling team at the CCS tournament at the end of February. Zach Bretzke and Josh Robinson also traveled to the tournament as alternates. Junior Trevor Kaiser wrestled in the 126 lb weight class and finished sixth in CCS. In the semifinals, eventual CCS champion Isaiah Palomino of Bellarmine pinned Kaiser, sending him to the consolation bracket. Kaiser’s season came to end with a sixth place finish when he lost to Scotts Valley’s Raul Ortiz 10-0 and Palma’s Saul Gonzalez 11-7. Trevor’s brother, Grant who wrestles in the 132 lb weight class, also finished in the top 12. In the opening round, Kaiser beat Sacred Heart’s James Woods 6-4 in overtime. Kaiser then lost 15-0 to the state-runner up, Alex Felix of Gilroy High School. In the consolation bracket, Kaiser defeated Ido Enav of Gunn High School 6-4. Santa Teresa’s Jimmy Yumen ended Grant’s season with a 10-4 win. Reigning CCS runner up Leland Ledger did not wrestle at the tournament because of a case of tonsillitis. Junior Tyler Elder represented Leigh in the 138 lb weight class. Elder lost his first two matches, but put up a strong fight as Junior. Bretzke only travelled to the tournament to be an alternate, but his name was called to wrestle in the 120 lb weight class. Bretzke lost 9-0 to Satoshi Ueda of Monta Vista in the opening round, then Overfelt’s Nicolas Lozano pinned Bretzke putting an end to his season. Five of the six wrestlers who qualified for CCS were Juniors meaning Leigh will likely be represented well at the tournament again.
The Longhorns, whether they were on the mat, the pitch, or the hardwood all had incredible seasons. Despite not winning any CCS titles, all five teams are young, so the future is bright!