Scots return from COVID-19 pause to dominate the Knights

Junior+forward+Matthew+Abiezzi+shoots+over+a+Hillsdale+defender.

Davinder Josephson

Junior forward Matthew Abiezzi shoots over a Hillsdale defender.

Following the numerous COVID-19-related cancellations and a paused season, the Carlmont Scots boys varsity basketball team returned to the court with a nearly full roster to defeat the Hillsdale Knights 72-57.

The Scots were able to get back their rhythm despite the postponement of four recent games, beating their Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) rivals on Jan. 12, behind a collective team effort on both sides of the ball.

“Each day brings something new with COVID-19, one guy out and then another,” said Ron Ozorio, Carlmont’s head coach. “Nothing is consistent, and we have to adjust to that.”

Throughout the game, the Scots’ focus on shooting during recent practices paid off.

“We made 13 threes,” Ozorio said. “Anytime a team shoots that well, it doesn’t matter what else they do because that shooting really shows.”

Significant defensive adjustments were also made at halftime in order to help secure the win.

“We began to defend the ball much better in the second half,” Ozorio said. “We applied much-needed defensive pressure on them throughout the rest of the game.”

Nothing is consistent, and we have to adjust to that.”

— Ron Ozorio

The Scots ended the first quarter with a tight 2-point lead. By halftime, the lead grew to 16 points before Carlmont pulled away in the third quarter, holding a 63-42 advantage entering the final period. Throughout the game, the Scots protected the ball, committing only 10 turnovers compared to the Knights’ 18.

An exceptionally strong performance by shooting guard Enzo Carvalho-Goncalves helped fuel the Scots. He finished the game with team-leading 23 points, including six made 3-pointers. Carvalho-Goncalves’ shooting proved to be a major obstacle for the Hillsdale defense.

“That guy is a really good player,” said Arjuna Manning-Laisne, Hillsdale’s head coach. “We didn’t do a good enough job at the start of the game prioritizing him and understanding what he is capable of, especially from beyond the arc.”

Manning-Laisne also applauded Carlmont’s size and aggressiveness.

“They are more than just one kid,” Manning-Laisne said. “They have a lot of good, strong, physical players that don’t back down and that are competitive. They do a lot to help the team win.”

Returning to the court once again after a long layoff that proved challenging for the Scots, they remain confident in their ability to be a league-leading team.

Junior guard Enzo Carvalho-Goncalves drives towards the basket to score a layup. (Davinder Josephson)

“The importance of this game was just to show that we still have it, and we can play consistently even after a large break,” said Troy Flores, a Carlmont junior guard.

The adversity of battling the pandemic brought together the team further, preparing them for the games ahead.

“We’re really looking forward to playing the rest of the season together,” said Ben Lefer, a junior forward for the Scots. “Overall, bringing this brotherhood every day to play is what it comes down to.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, the Scots have high hopes for what they can accomplish.

“We want to first win league, and then we are confident we can go to Central Coast Section finals,” Ozorio said.