The boys varsity basketball team defeated Malibu high school 79-43 in the Buckley Winter Classic Round Robin tournament on December 3. From the recent winners of All Area Code players, a high accolade for players in Southern California, senior Austin Butler, freshmen Kihei Clark, and Mike Meadows carried the team to a blowout over the Sharks. Senior Brendon Ferguson also played up to star caliber scoring 22 out of his 30 points in the first half.
The starters were seniors Nick Cashdan, Butler, and Ferguson, alongside freshmen guards Clark and Meadows.
Relatively small for a starting lineup, the team’s traditional full court press and constant defense as well as their terrific outside shooting solved the problem of height disadvantage.
The team shot 57 percent from beyond the arc and was bold in the hustle stats collecting 14 steals and four blocks. The team scored most of their points off fast breaks and turnovers. Their ability to run the court this game and play a constant full court press reflects the strength and stamina gained in preseason workouts with Strength and Conditioning Coach Rob Wright.
The team scored the other half of their points off the seemingly simple yet effective offense by flooding one side of the court with four players. Using a variation of the “Princeton Offense” and Phil Jackson’s Triangle Offense, the team is able to make cuts to the hoop from that set up as well as create shots around the perimeter.
Cashdan, who spots up in the short corner on the baseline, scored most of his 11 points from assists coming from Butler.
This offense was only one of the many schemes that was used against the Malibu Sharks. The team faces lack of height in the paint when it comes to defense, but their ability to collapse and clog the middle made it difficult for Malibu to score in the paint. This technique will be valuable against bigger and taller opponents like St. Genevieve.
Due to their lack of height, they did not collect as many offensive boards as they did last year, but the players got back on defense quicker rather than going for most offensive rebounds. This style of play worked as their defense shined against Malibu.
Ferguson scored most of his 30 points from his outside shot.
As Clark, Meadows, and Butler would push the offense into the paint, they would attract and penetrate the defense allowing Ferguson to be wide open. As an effect of Ferguson’s stable shot, Butler finished with nine points, seven rebounds, and seven assists acting more as a facilitator than a scorer.
The team also got to the line for free points coming off free throws.
The starters’ presence was significant, but the bench displayed a variety of aspects contributing to the win. Senior Josh Rosen finished with two rebounds and seven points as well as hustling for one steal and one block, and juniors Matthew Soufer and Caleb Martin played strong on both sides of the court.
The team has not turned the ball over and has shown great stamina compared to their recent opponents, allowing them to full court press the entire game as well as score off fast breaks.
Since the beginning of last year, the team has yet to lose during the regular season with a 29-0 record.
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