Jan. 14, 2011
[Update] The middle school boys Varsity A (grade 8) are both league and tournament champs for the first time! “We survived a great effort from Menlo yesterday and prevailed in the tournament championship game 20-14 in overtime,” said coach Mike Delfino. “Menlo did a great job slowing down the tempo, holding the ball for two to three minutes sometimes before shooting, and not allowing us to quicken the tempo of the game.
“Our guys adjusted well, were patient, and took advantage when the opportunities presented themselves. We like to run the ball up and down the court and push the tempo — it’s what we’re most comfortable doing, so it’s a credit to our players to be able to still win a game where they had to adjust to a completely different style of play. Incredibly, the game was tied at 13 after regulation play. Srivinay Irrinki hit a huge three pointer to start the overtime and Eric Holt helped ice the game with some clutch free throws.
It’s the first time a Harker middle school basketball team has ever won the league championship and the WBAL Tournament in the same season,” Delfino noted. Congrats to all the Grade 8 Varsity A basketball players!
Incredibly the game was tied at 13 after regulation. Srivinay Irrinki hit a huge three pointer to start the overtime and Eric Holt helped ice the game with some clutch free throws.
Jan. 13, 2011
[Update] The boys Varsity A team defeated Pinewood 53-38 last night in the semifinals of the WBAL Tournament. Eric Holt led all scorers with 26 points, 16 coming in the first half as the team built an 11 point halftime lead. “I thought all 10 of our guys played very well,” said coach Mike Delifino. “This was the second time in six days we played Pinewood and last week they were much more aggressive than we were and really took it to us. In that game, I thought we were very fortunate to come away with a 2-point win, but last night was different. Our guys were much more aggressive from the start and really did a nice job dictating the tempo of the game, especially on defense where we were able to force a lot of early turnovers. It really was a complete effort on both sides of the ball.” The boys play their final game of the year tonight at Blackford against either Menlo or King’s Academy at 6 p.m. The boys have beaten both those teams in regular season play, so have a good chance of adding the title of tournament champs to their already-earned league champioinship, tonight! See below for details of their exciting season
Jan. 10, 2011
[Update] The middle school boys Varsity A (grade 8) team) finished up a stellar season with a heartbreaker, losing to St. Simon’s on Friday 48-40. The team finished the season 7-1; see below for details. The game Jan. 7 was, “a very good game between two very good teams,” said coach Mike Delfino. “St Simon players were big and fast but it was back and forth all the way. I thought we played very well. We had some chances –we were down just four with about two minutes to play, but missed a couple of key free throws and a couple of shots and couldn’t close the gap.” The team will play in the WBAL post-season tournament starting this week on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at St. Joseph’s.
Jan. 7, 2011
[Update] The middle school boys Varsity A (grade 8) team squeaked by Pinewood to complete league play unbeaten! “It was a battle,” said coach Mike Delfino. “Pinewood played very well. We escaped at the end 29-27. Srivinay Irrinki hit a three-pointer with nine seconds left to win it.” Tonight is the final regular season game against St. Simon of Los Altos at 4 p.m. in the Saratoga campus gym. Come on out and cheer the boys to victory in this tough final match!
Jan. 6, 2011
[Update] The middle school boys Varsity A (grade 8) team has two games left to win to complete an unbeaten season: Pinewood on Thurs., Jan. 6, and St. Simon of Los Altos on Fri., Jan. 7. The Pinewood game is at 4 p. m. at Bucknall and if the boys win they are league champions and unbeaten in league play. If they beat non-league St. Simon, a very good team, according to coach Mike Delfino, that ends their regular season unbeaten. That game is at Saratoga at 4 p.m., and spectators are welcome at both games! The team then plays in a league tournament next week to finish the season.
Jan. 5, 2011
The middle school Varsity A (grade 8) and Varsity B (grade 7 and 8) basketball teams both fought for league titles Jan. 4, with the A team winning 32-17 and the B team going down 24-33. Both games were held at the Blackford campus with a solid crowd of supporters.
The Varsity A game was a showdown with Menlo School that left the Harker team with a 5-0 record in league play with one game left to play against Pinewood this Thursday at Blackford. The team has beaten every team except Pinewood, their last opponent, who already has two losses. That means that even if Harker loses, no other team will have better than a 5-1 record, and even then will have already been beaten by Harker, leaving the league championship squarely in Harker’s hands!
“I’m sure there’s no way we can be caught,” said coach Mike Delfino. “We are now 7-0 overall and that includes a 51-46 win over a very strong Willow Glen Middle School on their home court.”
In Tuesday’s game, “We were able to jump ahead early,” said Delfino. “We were very solid defensively and though we weren’t shooting well, we rebounded well and got a lot of second chance points, allowing us to jump to a 16-2 halftime lead. The second half was a little more back and forth. Menlo closed to within eight points, but then we moved the lead back up to 14 and by the end of the third quarter it was 27-11. Last quarter was a chance to get everyone some playing time and the final was 32-17.”
The team has a tough non-league game against St. Simon on Friday, Jan. 7, and the league tournament follows next week, but pairings won’t be available until at least Friday as teams finish their final games. “I can tell you that we should be the top seed and probably will have a first round bye,” said Delfino.
“The tournament (next week) doesn’t determine a league champion,” Delfino continued. “That is done during the season. This is a separate tournament involving the teams in our league where they seed according to their season finish.”
Delfino noted the team has earned its kudos this season. “I know the chance at an undefeated season would mean a lot to the kids, and let me emphasize that the success the boys have had this year is entirely due to their hard work and efforts,” he said. “They are a wonderful group to coach. They know when to have fun and when to be ready to play.
“The fact that the boys were lucky enough to win the league title is completely a reflection on them. They made it happen; I was just along for the ride. They are truly a terrific bunch of young men. Individually, I’d like to acknowledge the efforts of Eric Holt and Srivinay Irrinki, whose performances have been clutch all year. Also, I would like to commend Avik Wadhwa and Vamsi Gadiraju, not only for their solid efforts in the win over Menlo but for their contributions all year long. It’s really been a team effort,” Delfino concluded.