On Saturday, Jan. 14, the Berkeley High School boys varsity basketball team faced off against California High School. The team had just come off of a loss the night before against Alameda High School.
BHS took the lead in the first quarter thanks to back-to-back steals from Ollie Miller and Samir O’Brien, and a 3-point shot from Ollie Miller.
Miller is a BHS junior who has been averaging around 16 points per game. Miller hopes to play in college. “That’s the ultimate goal, but right now I’m just focused on playing with Berkeley High and living in the moment.”
As a point guard, he understands the importance of good team-building and communication. “With my position I have different roles and jobs I’m supposed to do. It’s basically about getting my teammates in positions where they can succeed,” he said.
BHS held strong defense, and by the second quarter they were winning 15-9. This lead continued throughout the whole first half of the game and into the second half. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, with the score at 37-31, forward Will Polishuk scored another crowd-pleasing 3-pointer.
Polishuk thinks the team has been performing better than expected this season, stating, “I’m super proud of how we’ve been doing. … We’ve had a few mishaps here and there, but overall we’ve played really well.”
“This was a huge game because California High is a top-tier team,” Polishuk said. However, the school’s reputation did not slow BHS down, and in the fourth quarter alone, the team ended up scoring 15 points, finishing the game with a whopping score of 52-34.
Polishuk saw the team winning early in the game, saying, “We went out there and controlled the game and ended up winning by 18 points. We pretty much just socked them with our defense and they didn’t know what to do.”
The head coach of the varsity team, Mike Hudson, believes that this win will be extremely positive for future team morale.
“We played one of the best teams in the Bay Area and we did a good job. Probably one of the better defensive efforts I’ve ever seen,” Hudson said.
He added that this win demonstrates that they can be strong competitors against big opponents.
“To limit a team like that to 34 points, that’s a very difficult thing to do. When you look at Cal High’s record, they’re a really strong team. Being able to pull off that kind of win says a lot about our kids,” he said. Hudson has seen how much the student athletes have been applying themselves. “They’re working extremely hard this year. We’ve had a lot of success due to the fact that the boys put in countless hours of training for basketball. They put in a lot of work to be in the position they’re in,” Hudson said.