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Winter sports dominate CCS Championship

Boys’ Basketball

The boys’ basketball team made it to the Central Coastal Section (CCS) quarterfinal with a league standing of nine to one. “I thought the season went great,” senior Chris Russell said. “We really shocked everyone’s expectations coming into the season. I had a ton of fun and it was an unforgettable season; we went 20 to 4 [overall] so we played well too.”

Junior Alex Gil agrees that it has been a good season; he plans to train harder during the off-season and hopes his teammates will do the same. “We definitely need to focus on our defense and our energy,” he said. Russell had the same opinion about energy. “We needed to bring a ton of energy to each game,” he added.

Though the team went strong, they lost to Bellarmine College Prep 59-45. “I had high expectations for CCS,” Gil said. “I know we could’ve played even better. I think it’s a good beginning and foundation for next year.”

The team had a lot of chemistry which benefited them both on and off the court. “We hung out after practice, weekends, etc., and everyone on the team had a genuine love for every teammate,” Russell said.

Gil believes that Gunn played well this season. “I’m really proud of how well we played, and there was no question that St. Francis did not expect it to be that close,” he said. “We gave them all we had, and we pushed them to the limit.”

Boys’ Soccer

After an undefeated league season (10-0-1) in the Santa Clara Valley Athletics League (SCVAL), the boys’ varsity soccer team both won the El Camino Division and secured a spot in Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs. “When we beat Fremont [High School] in the second to last game of league, we knew we had clinched division and we knew we had also clinched a CCS birth,” coach Kenneth Luis said. Not only did the team seal a spot in CCS but their statistics seeded them third in the tournament and they were awarded with a first-round bye, which propelled them straight into the quarter finals.

After a week without games, the boys’ team battled it out against the Mountain View High School Spartans and put them away with an ending score of 4-2. Although Gunn got the win, it was a difficult win. “It was much harder than we expected,” senior Dmitriy Timokhin said. “Teams come out hard because they have nothing to lose by trying their best since it’s the last game of their season if they lose.”

Then, the Titans played Leland High School, one of the two teams they lost to during preseason. “[Leland’s] a very tough, aggressive [and] fast team and we need to at least match that,” coach Luis said before the match. “If we can do that, we have a good chance of winning the game.”

Gunn managed to match Leland’s quality of play and went into overtime with a score of 0-0. The score stayed the same throughout overtime so the game advanced to penalty kicks. Gunn’s 3-2 loss in the penalty shootout ended the season. “We knew we left everything on the field [and] had a way better season than we could’ve ever imagined,” senior captain Guy Kasznik said.

Regardless, the boys’ varsity team has improved since the previous years. “Especially compared to last season, it’s a complete 180,” junior Cristobal Gonzalez said. “Last season, we were near the bottom of the bottom league. We had a showing that Gunn hasn’t displayed for a long time.”

Wrestling

The wrestling team reached a whole new level of great at state this Saturday and Sunday. Senior Ian Cramer placed eighth at the state wrestling meet March 6 and 7 at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. Cramer is only the second Gunn wrestler to win a Central Coast Section (CCS) title then follow it up with a medal at state.

“I loved the competition at state,” Cramer said. “Every opponent was exceptionally good and every match extremely challenging. It felt great to be competing and succeeding at such a high level.” Cramer won his first three matches, making it to the quarterfinals that Friday night. He lost that Saturday 11-2 to eventual third-place medalist Khristian Olivas from Clovis High School, which won its seventh straight team title.

Wrestling coach Chris Horpel felt that Cramer had what it took to make it all the way to state. “Ian knows a lot of wrestling, has rare physical gifts that allow him to do extraordinary things on the mat, and he is very mentally tough,” he said. “He remains level-headed no matter how intense the situation. He worked very hard all season, only losing one match before the state meet with a final record of 35-4 with 26 pins.”

Sophomore David Abramovitch was 1-2 at 126 pounds, junior Tanner Kerrins was 1-2 at 132, sophomore Aaron Schultz was 0-2 at 145, junior Thomas Chang-Davidson was 0-2 at 152 and junior Kirill Demyanenko (2-2) placed ninth at 285.

Girls’ Soccer

The girls soccer team lost to Santa Teresa 0-3 in the first round of the Division One Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs. The girls finished third in their league and beat multiple highly ranked teams in other leagues earning them their first bid to the tournament since 2011.

“We were the lower seed in the game and nerves definitely got the best of us at the start of the game,” senior captain Megan Kuhnle said. “But we pulled through and were able to make some good plays.”

Getting to CCS was a big accomplishment, and even though the level of competition was higher, the girls stayed true to themselves and did not get intimidated. Some of the Gunn players knew players from the opposition, but chose not to tell the team. “I did not tell the rest of the team about how good some of their players were because I wanted it to be about how we play, not about the girls on the other team,” senior Natalie Perreault said.

During preseason, Gunn beat multiple highly ranked teams in other divisions and went into league with lots of momentum. They hit some hard times in league play, but the adversity actually helped the team develop and build chemistry. “There was so much potential in our team, and we were not doing well in games we could have won, but I think by having those games we realized we have so much skill on our team,” Perreault said. “It gave us the perspective that we can do better than what we are showing on the team.”

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