Boys varsity basketball team loses to Viewpoint in second round of CIF playoffs

Sam Kaplan

Staff Writer

The Milken Wildcats boys varsity basketball team ended their season with a 77-58 loss to Viewpoint on February 18 in the second round of the CIF playoffs. During the regular season, the Wildcats seemed like a team primed for a deep playoff run, but was stopped short by Viewpoint. JJ Friedman ’12, the highest scoring high school Jew in the nation, concluded his final game as a Wildcat with 27 points.

“It’s hard playing your last high school game ever, knowing that it is going to have to conclude one day. I wish it would have ended on a better note, but only few players ever finish their last high school game with a win. This team was the most fun I had ever been a part of, and I am going to miss all of the guys,” Friedman said.

In the regular season, the Wildcats were 7-1 in league play, with their only loss coming against Pacifica Christian. Despite a furious rally in the fourth quarter against Viewpoint, their comeback attempt fell short.

The Wildcats began their CIF run with a home game against Nordoff, which drew one of the biggest Milken crowds in recent memory and made the game feel like a college atmosphere. From students screaming while Nordoff was at the free throw line, to chanting “defense,” to singing “hey hey goodbye,” the Wildcat fans had never supported a Milken sports team better. The Wildcats were victorious in the first round, winning by a score of 68-56. Although down by three points at the half, Friedman put the team on his back and rallied the Wildcats to victory.

The second game of CIF was a different story, however, as Milken fell behind early to Viewpoint and was never able to get back in the game. After ending the first quarter down 8-18, the Wildcat fans could sense early that they might be in trouble. Despite the loss, Milken students were still proud of their team making it into the second round of the playoffs. Nearly 100 students traveled to the Viewpoint gym to cheer on their friends, marking the first time that more than a small handful of students have gone to watch an away game.

Although the boys varsity basketball team did not go as far as they wanted, they still had a very successful and memorable season, and hope to continue their winning ways next year.