Ryan Little’s Ridiculous Bracket

 

March Madness is over, the chaos of the tournament has passed and the North Carolina Tar Heels are champions for the sixth time in history. Other teams proved to be the Cinderellas of the tournament, devastating some, surprising everyone, and stealing the hearts of most. Most everyone has moved on with their lives, mourning their tragically blighted brackets. However, some bracket participants were unbridled with joy from their successes.

A few weeks earlier, the annual bracket returned. The college basketball tournament of 64 teams comes with an abundance of excitement. During the waning weeks of March, everyone becomes a college basketball aficionado. The tournament is single elimination or one and done. In order to advance to the finals, a team would have to go through six rounds. With so many teams and so much variation, it makes the tournament captivating and addictive.  Nationwide everyone fills out brackets either with their “expertise” or completely without knowledge of the teams participating. At Miramonte, a plethora of students completed their own brackets. Senior bracketologist Sam Foster proclaims the key to success is to “trust your gut, have some background knowledge of the teams involved, and be absurdly lucky.” Students without knowledge of college basketball normally elect teams of a high seed, which correlate with their higher caliber and skill level. However, many know that there are countless upsets during the tournament. An upset is when a lower seed defeats and knocks out a higher seed. Predicting the whole tournament is virtually impossible, which makes filling the bracket so fun.

Each year senior Jimmy Ricksen hosts a pool since eighth grade, where students can pay a ten dollar fee to enter. The one with the most accurate bracket gets the money. This year a total of almost 60 students entered Ricksen’s pool and one came out victorious. Although Senior Ryan Little stands at a mere 5 feet 6 inches, his bracket stood tall. He has the foresight of a psychic. Little attributes his success to “using March Madness strategy over basketball strategy. “He went on to say “I had no idea the caliber of the teams, but I knew their history and the usual tendency of March Madness.” Little’s midwest section was completely perfect, meaning he predicted every single game in the section. The upsets hurt Little’s bracket, but fortunately ruined majority of the contestants brackets too. Little prevailed even with people rooting against him. Senior Alex Meyers posted a picture of the final four on his snapchat: “For those watching with no one to root for, Ryan Little misses out on $400 if the Ducks can pull off the W.” Little explains in order to win, “don’t listen to the haters.” He plans to spend the money on spoiling his girlfriend. Little has a lucky girl, but an even luckier bracket. 




Miramonte Continues their Hot Start with League Wins

Mens golf has started the season strong with a 11-2 overall record and 4-2 in league. Last Wednesday, 4/12, the Mats fell to crosstown rival Campolindo in a tight match, only losing by five strokes at Moraga Country Club.   

This monday the Mats got a second shot at Campolindo, participating in a dual match, also with Acalanes. The Mats avenged their previous loss by beating Campolindo by eight strokes.

“Whenever you can get a win against those guys it always feels good. The win put us in a better position for the league standings,” said senior captain Alex Meyers.         

Earlier in the year, the Mats won the Falcon Invitational at Deer Ridge Golf Course in Brentwood defeating. A key component Sam Sernett ‘17, shot a low of 74 and was awarded tournament MVP.
The Mats have found success under first year head coach Jack Schram. Schram previously coached at Encinal High School in Alameda. Schram also coaches the Miramonte football team.




The Mirador Reviews the Effects of the Kevin Durant Injury

 

Positives: Durant’s injury can be the catalyst that pushes the Warriors over the hump this year. All year the Warriors have been leaning on Durant and he has produced. However, guys like Steph Curry and Draymond Green have totally regressed from last year. Offensively, Draymond PPG, field goal percentage and assist have all dropped. On the other hand, Steph Curry has seemed to lost some of his mojo. Although he is still a superstar in the league, he has dropped off from his back to back MVP seasons. Both of these players must perform in order for the Warriors to win a championship and dethrone the Cavs. With Durant being out for an extended period of time it will help both of these players confidence. In addition, the injury came at a relatively good time for the Warriors. Durant should be healthy before their playoff push, unlike last year’s injury to Steph Curry that happened in the playoffs and hindered the Warriors.       

 

Negatives: The injury of Kevin Durant is obviously a big loss for the Warriors. Not only are they losing a proficient scorer but it disrupts the flow of their offense. The Warriors have played over 50 games together and now they have to play a whole month without one of their star players. Golden State are definitely going to see some struggle early on. However,  Golden State has the group of guys that will persevere and start to figure out how to play without Durant; how many losses is that gonna take before they figure it out? We may not know. The Spurs are closing into the number one seed and right now the Warriors can’t afford to lose many more games. In addition, Durant will most likely be much for fragile for the remainder of the season even after he recovers.  Let’s not forget this is not his first injury. He was injured in Oklahoma City for an extended period of time with an apparent knee injury. The Warriors definitely  have to question how this will affect Durant as a player.

 




Miramonte Lacrosse Suffers From Low Participation

As varsity men’s lacrosse plays a tight game against Northgate, many of the underclassmen sit on the sideline and watch. In this nail biting-game many underclassmen who would usually play junior varsity receive no playing time at all. This same situation will happen throughout the season as the Mats see low numbers. The Mats are trying to avoid a similar situation to last year where they kept a large varsity and small JV team which forced many varsity caliber players to have to play down for some games on JV.

Miramonte had the option of keeping a small varsity team and small JV team but the coaching staff decided that a deep varsity roster and high level practice reps for JV players would be most beneficial for the program. “I think it helps the underclassmen in practice because it allows them to play against high competition in practice, but it hinders them at the same time because they can’t build that game confidence,” said Senior captain John Berg.

Only having one team may hinder the development of the younger players who will see minimal action on the playing field. Usually, the junior varsity team helps develop those players that by the time they play varsity lacrosse they are ready. Some underclassmen still shine on varsity such as Carson Essbhoy ‘20, a freshman defender. Charlie Hawkins ‘19, a returning varsity player as a sophomore has been a huge factor in the Mats offense. Hawkins scored the Mats only two goals against a strong Davis team and put in a hattrick against Petaluma in a Mats victory.  

Having only one team has not halted the Mats who are currently 2-2 against league opponents.  




Miramonte Freshman Basketball Team Completes Undefeated Season

The Miramonte freshman basketball team finished their season without recording a single loss.

The team amassed a 26-0 record, winning with an average score of 60-36.

Center Trevor Sidlauskas ‘20 realized midway through the season that the team had a legitimate chance to complete an undefeated season. “When we beat all of the teams in our league—that’s when we knew we could beat every single team,” Sidlauskas said.

Coach Teresa Juergens had a very similar thought. “After we played everyone in league once—because we play everyone in league twice,” Juergens said. “After we beat Northgate significantly at their place, beat Campo by thirty, and beat Las Lomas by about the same, I realized that if all goes well, and if they decided to play hard and stay focused, that we would go undefeated. I also knew that it was up to them. No one was going to beat them.”

Point Guard Tanner Zwahlen ‘20 revealed that the team received a burst of confidence after defeating the Miramonte JV basketball team in a scrimmage. “We were leading since the first quarter,” Zwahlen said. “I don’t think they led one time in the game.”

Perhaps the largest threat to the undefeated season was a two-game stretch during which the team won in overtime and in regulation by one point. Zwahlen believed in his team: “I never had doubts,” Zwahlen said. “I knew that we were just going to make it and win.” Juergens had no doubts about the one-point victory over Tamalpais, but that was not the case during the overtime victory over Piedmont Hills. “When it got down to the last minute and we were down by three, some doubts were going through my mind,” Juergens said. “But then once Quenton [Breznikar ‘20] hit that three and we tied it up to go into overtime, I completely believed that we were going to pull it out. They were really focused in overtime.”

Juergens stated that the tryout process was unlike any other year in one respect. “We had 28 kids trying out,” Juergens said. “In years past, I think the most we’ve had is 22. There were a lot of good players. It was difficult to make the final five cuts. But did I know that we would be this good during tryouts? No, I did not.”

Juergens also believes that the team’s camaraderie contributed to its success. “When you really like people that you’re with, you do more for them,” Juergens said. “It makes you be more unselfish. They just fought harder for their friends than they would’ve on their own.”




Miramonte Girls Basketball Wins First NorCal Home Playoff Game

The Matadors took the floor with purpose on Wednesday, March 8th.

Miramonte jumped out to a 24-2 lead. The team did not allow Whitney to score a field goal for the first 6:10 of the game.

The Mats’ fast pace and lockdown defense were simply too much for the Whitney Wildcats to handle. Whitney continued to attempt to slow the pace of the game in order to offset the speed of the Matadors, but after winning the NCS title for the fourth year in a row, the team was motivated to maintain the pressure and keep the Wildcats on their heels. The speed with which the Matadors played was simply unmatchable. The final score was 83-40.

Clair Steele ‘18 led the team with 17 points. Michaela Thomas ‘17 and Jordyn Bryant ‘18 each scored 13.

The Matadors will host the Elk Grove Thundering Herd on Saturday.

“We’re getting better with each game and I think we could potentially go on to win a state championship,” Colette Kirkpatrick ‘18 said of her high expectations for this year’s team.

Kirkpatrick is satisfied with the team’s work ethic, “Everyone is really motivated and we’re all in the same mindset. We work as hard as we can every day.”




Miramonte Triumphs Against Mt. Diablo

On Friday, January 20th at Miramonte, the Miramonte varsity men’s team and Mt. Diablo High School’s gave it their all on the soccer field. The game was ninety minutes of excitement and nonstop action. Not a single player felt unsatisfied with their efforts despite the fact that Mt. Diablo is a less challenging team to play against in the league.

The game began with an impressive shot from captain, Ben Hodder (‘17) that made its way to the back of the goal and put Miramonte in a good position. In the second half, Ross Gruen (‘18) and Conor Roemer (‘19) each scored, putting Miramonte ahead and ultimately resulting in a victory. Mt. Diablo wasn’t ready to be defeated without a fight though and managed to score two goals during the game.

This game was important for Miramonte because winning league games is critical in advancing to the playoffs. As of now, the Miramonte men’s varsity team has eight wins, five losses, and two ties. These promising results make the team and coaches confident that they will have a strong rest of the season.




Mirador Predicts Superbowl 51

Xavier’s Prediction: Falcons 35: Patriots 31– The Falcons are the hottest team in the NFL and the Patriots won’t slow them down. The offense, led by Matt Ryan, has averaged 40 points per game in their two playoff blowouts. Last week Julio Jones proved he is the best wide receiver in the game, embarrassing the Packers secondary for 180 yards and two touchdowns. I don’t see the smaller cornerback Malcolm Butler stopping Julio. The offense is balanced, allowing both running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to mutually shine while still having arguably the best passing game. Both backs are versatile; being a threat on the ground as well as in the passing game. In the last two playoff games the duo has combined for 179 receiving yards. Atlanta’s offensive line led by center Alex Mack, has done a phenomenal job keeping the MVP front runner Matt Ryan clean, only allowing two sacks in the playoffs. On the defensive side, the Falcons have an extremely underrated defense. Although they don’t have many big name guys, they play well as a unit. Last week, they shutout Aaron Rodgers in the first half, putting their offense in great positions. Linebacker Vic Beasley will have to continue to apply pressure to QB Tom Brady. The Falcons must turn the Patriots into an one-dimensional team, allowing them to drop 7 defenders in coverage. If the Falcons corners can be physical with the smaller New England wideouts, they can really limit Brady’s numbers, resulting in a Falcons win.

Robin’s prediction: Patriots 31: Falcons 27 The Patriots have been nearly unstoppable since star Quarterback Tom Brady returned from his four game suspension. New England is coming into the Super Bowl with only two losses this season and one loss with Brady as their playcaller. The Patriots have averaged 35 points per game this postseason with a key blowout win to long-time rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Tom Brady has been nothing but terrific and is a definite MVP contender and should be trouble for the Falcons Defense. His pre-snap adjustments have been unstoppable for opposing teams. Falcons have yet to play a team as premier as the Patriots who finished with the best record in football. Brady missed four games this year and still finished top five in passing yards only behind all- time great Drew Brees.The Falcons will be short-handed in their offense with key receiver Julio Jones playing through a toe injury. This could be a big break for the Patriots star cornerback Malcolm Butler who is assigned to guarding the NFL’s top receiver. Butler is known for his key interception vs. the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX which gave New England its fourth Super Bowl win. Overall the Patriots experience might be too much for the Falcons who are appearing in their first Super Bowl compared to the Patriot’s seven Super Bowl appearances. If the Falcons want to win they need to apply pressure and force Brady to get rid of the ball quicker. The Patriots offensive line is too good to lose head to head battles. The only way I can see the Falcons putting pressure on Brady is if they start blitzing the linebackers, but Brady has proved time and time again that blitzing him only creates more windows to throw to.




Mats Fall to Campolindo in a Disappointing Offensive Performence

As the final buzzer went off, the disappointing looks on the Matadors faces summed up their night. The Matadors’ lackluster offensive performance led to a 47-31 defeat to crosstown rival Campolindo.

The Matadors mixed it up from their traditional man defense, coming out the game in a 1-3-1 zone. However, the Cougars countered the zone by hitting multiple first quarter threes late in the shot clock. There was no question that the Matadors held up on the defensive side of the floor holding the Cougars to just 47 points. In the second half they put on a full court press to disrupt the Cougars guards, but they handled it as they furthered Campolindo’s lead.

On offense it just wasn’t the Matadors night, as they shot under 30 percent from the field. Miramonte’s star center Charlie Hocking returned from an ankle injury  this game and it was evident he wasn’t at 100 percent. Coach Hunter limited his minutes, forcing the Matadors to turn into a 5 guard lineup, limiting their inside presence. Junior Ethan Fischler led the team in scoring and consistently attacked the basket all night.

This Friday the Matadors will take on the 10-6 Acalanes Dons. Both teams have lost their first league game but hold good records.       




Mats Basketball Riddled with Injuries Before Campo Game

          With a matchup against Campolindo this evening looming, the Mats find themselves without their main scorer and down a big man. Charlie Hocking 17’ is out with a short term ankle injury and Enzo Jiannalone ‘18 is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL and Meniscus. Hocking was the Mats MVP in an early season tournament in San Luis Obispo, leading the Mats to a 4-0 record and a tournament championship. Jiannalone was a valuable part of the team,offering the experience of a returning varsity player. The Mats will have to move on without him. Although Hocking is set to return in the near future the Mats have had some opportunity to improve in his absence. “Charlie has been our main scorer this year so different players have had to take on more minutes and step up rebounding and scoring. We hope to have him back for Friday’s game against Campo” Nikhil Shastri ‘18 said.  Players like Miles Beaubelle ‘19, Ethan Fischler ‘18 and Jimmy Ricksen ‘17 have all stepped up in the face of the injuries and are ready regardless of the timetable for Hocking’s return. Fischler came up big for the Mats in last Friday’s victory against Hillsborough with his 17 point contribution. Miramonte currently sits at 10-4 and are set to play at 10-5 Campolindo tonight in the first league game.