The first game of the season had excitement and late game drama. What it didn't have for the Taft varsity boys basketball team was a win after they lost 60-57 to the Mira Monte Lions in Taft Monday night.
Following Mira Monte's basket, Taft took off early in the first quarter with six straight points. Taft held onto the lead until Mira Monte scored on a layup with 4:12 to go to retake the lead. Taft got the lead back on the next basket, but the Lions outscored the Wildcats 5-1 the rest of the quarter to lead by three.
Thanks to three straight points from Jacob Lopez, Taft bounced back to tie the score at 19 early in the second quarter. However, Taft's offense went cold with the team scoring only six points the rest of the way with four of the six points coming on free throws. Meanwhile, Mira Monte scored eight points including a banked shot with four seconds left to give the Lions a four point lead.
Taft roared back in the third quarter with a pair of three-pointers and a layup while Mira Monte had a three-pointer and two free throws. The difference helped the Wildcats tie the score at 33. Taft went on to lead by five two different times before the Lions went on a 10-4 run to close out the quarter.
Mira Monte would hold the lead throughout the fourth quarter with their biggest lead coming at five. Taft narrowed the lead to one late in the quarter thanks to a three-pointer. However, the Lions iced the game with two free throws.
To read the full story, pick up Friday's paper.