Westmoor boys’ basketball coach Herb Yaptinchay doesn’t know the last time the Rams defeated a West Catholic Athletic League opponent — because it may have never happened before.
If it has, it hasn’t happened in a very long time.
That all changed Tuesday night at St. Ignatius when the Rams, only five years removed from a 1-20 season, orchestrated the first huge upset of the season with a 75-74 overtime win over the Wildcats.
The last time the two teams met, in 2009, St. Ignatius won 61-20.
“They’re just looking for respect,” Yaptinchay said of his senior-laden group. “Everyone looks at us and looks at our lineup — we’re all a bunch of short Asian kids for the most part and we don’t have a guy over 6-foot — but they play with tremendous heart and that’s the big thing. It’s a huge win for them.”
St. Ignatius junior point guard Trevor Dunbar may be one of the best players in The City, but on Tuesday, the best player on the floor was Westmoor’s Wai Min, who had a game-high 24 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
No block was more important than his final rejection with 6 seconds remaining in overtime with St. Ignatius trailing by a point. Two seconds later, Min missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw opportunity and the Wildcats got Dunbar the ball. He heaved a last-gasp shot just as he crossed midcourt, but the ball bounced straight off the backboard and away from the rim.
Min led a dominant Westmoor rebounding performance in the first half (the Rams outrebounded St. Ignatius 23-11 before the break), but the Wildcats flipped the script in the second. Riding 16 second-half points and nine rebounds from junior forward Julian Marcu, the Wildcats controlled the boards in the second half, but continued to struggle guarding the athletic, driving Westmoor guards.
“We tried to go with two bigs, which we usually don’t do, but as much as it was helping us in the offense, we just can’t guard them with two bigs, because they’re so fast and all play on the perimeter,” St. Ignatius coach Tim Reardon said.