By Kyle Foster
Twitter: @NapaKyle @NapaSportsLive
Revenge is often times very sweet, that was the case Friday when the Napa High boys basketball team beat Bethel 45-44.
With 3.9 seconds left in the game, and Napa (7-8) down 44-43 the Indians executed a inbound play that saw Mitch Hippauf pass to Joe Carnazola for a game winning layup as time expired. That was the only point in the game that the Indians held a lead over Bethel (5-9).
— napatribe (@napatribe) January 6, 2018
“Just trying to get the bucket to win the game,” Carnazola explained of the game winning basket.
“I was thinking ‘I don’t think it’ll go in’,” Napa coach Zack Cook said of buzzer beating layup. “We went to the second option of the play, and Mitch made a great pass, and Joe, you know I think he fumbled it a little bit, when he fumbled it I didn’t think we were even going to get the shot off, but he recovered and just threw it up from underneath the rim, and it went in, and just a great feeling, our team deserves it, our coaches deserve it, we’ve had a rough go this year with injuries, and last year we had four or five overtime losses, so just a good feeling, and happy for the kids.”
On December 2nd at the Wine Valley Tournament the Jaguars beat Napa in a similar choppy, lots of turnovers type of game.
“Exact same game, yeah,” Cook added on the first matchup with Bethel. “Just kinda choppy, and you know a lot of fouls, and no rhythm, we kinda knew it would be that way tonight, we planned to zone them most of the game, but they were stroking it, so we took a chance with the short bench, and picked them up full court, and ended up working out.”
Cook thinks this win when the Indians only suited up seven of their 11 players is definitely a confidence boost as they finish up the non league slate, and begin Monticello Empire League play next Friday.
“It’s a big win you know,” he said. “Any win we get right now with guys out is nice. I think we’ve won seven game now in our preseason, so we’re two ahead of where we finished last year, which is nice, and guys are getting experience that they don’t normally get, so it’s definitely just a confidence builder, and we hope to get healthy by next week for league.”
Carnazola not only hit the game winning shot, but also led the Indians in scoring, and rebounding with 15 points to go along with his 10 rebounds. Hippauf was next closest pitching in ten points, and seven rebounds.
“Joe he’s just great, he’s our captain, he’s our leader, he doesn’t get too high, he doesn’t get too low, he works his butt off in practice, he absolutely gets the most out of talent, and his skill set, and it really, really, really couldn’t have happened to a better kid tonight, so I’m really happy for him,” Cook explained of Carnazola’s effort on the night.
The Indians will complete the back end of a back-to-back today when they visit Benicia at 6 P.M., Bethel will visit McClymonds-Oakland Monday at 7 P.M.