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Geffen Academy Bruins Drop Crucial Game to Wildwood Wolves 64-42, Anything Left in the Tank?

Entering the night in second place in their division, the Geffen Academy Bruins should've had the utmost confidence in their matchup against the pesky Wildwood Wolves. Despite being stuck in a race with a myriad of teams grappling for a slot in the postseason, the Bruins controlled their own destiny. But signs of unrest amongst various players was evident hours before the opening tip-off. Rumors of angst were swirling around about their upcoming game at Wildwood, who Geffen Academy had never beaten away from home. Head Coach Devon McNairy articulated the importance this game had on their season on the preceding bus ride to the arena, delineating how this contest was not only critical in the seedings, but even just to make the playoffs.

Looking to play spoiler on the Wolves' senior night, the Bruins jumped out to a quick lead in the first quarter. Geffen Academy carved up the Wolves' interior defense with quick, sharp passes into the paint, and excellent defensive rebounding from senior Russell Fisher. The Bruins, who rode their starters for the vast majority of the first eight minutes, led 14-11 at the end of the opening period. Before starting the second quarter, McNairy and Coach Antony Dunn elected to substitute an array of reserves into the game. It would be a detrimental mistake. Wildwood took advantage of the lack of leadership and chemistry on the floor, and pounced on the Bruins, who fell into Wolves' fierce attack like a helpless deer. Geffen Academy lost the second quarter by eighteen points, seemingly unable to do anything right on either end of the floor. Sophomore Stevan Markovic stormed into the locker room, enraged, and began lambasting his teammates for their various miscues throughout the first half. From there, everything fell apart.

The Bruins couldn't get anything going in the second half, and the team felt listless, both on the court and on the bench. Markovic certainly backed up his earlier sentiment, scoring thirteen second half points to lead Geffen Academy. However, nobody else on the team found a rhythm, and the Bruins started to fall further and further behind. Conversely, Wildwood only grew stronger and more confident. The Bruins, who are a team that relies immensely on their ability to shoot the triple with proficiency and accuracy, are at a colossal disadvantage when they don't make enough of their three-point shots. Markovic and Junior Noah Saucedo made six threes collectively, but it just wasn't enough for Geffen Academy to overcome their inability to stop Wildwood on the defensive end.

The Bruins absolutely must win both of their two remaining games in order to make the playoffs, and their hopes of hosting a playoff game have gone down the drain. After celebrating their seniors on Thursday, the Bruins must defeat Vistamar, then bounce back the next night and beat New Roads for the second time in eight days. If they win both games, the playoffs are attainable, but other results around the CIF-SS may dictate whether or not Geffen Academy gets in. If they lose either game, their season is over. We'll see what happens. Stay tuned.

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