After ending their preseason with a .470 record of 8-9, the varsity boys’ basketball team began their Almont League season with a win of 62-49 against the San Gabriel Matadors. Afterward, however, the Moors were dealt four consecutive losses, two of which were lost on buzzer beaters in the final seconds. Following this, the squad faced a rematch against San Gabriel and ended their losing streak with a winning margin of four points. In their most recent game, the Moors held their opponents, the Bell Garden Lancers, at 42 points in order to receive their third win of the season.
Their record currently stands at 3-4 and under the leadership of second year Head Coach Bryan Gonzalez, the team hopes to end the season strong in order to make a push for a higher Almont League rank and a chance to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) postseason preliminaries.
“Our team’s goal is to win all the remaining games and get a CIF [seed, but] we are also trying to build a foundation by playing basketball with passion each and every day,” captain Matthew Aguilar said.
To accomplish their goals, the boys hold daily night practices. Like that of most teams, a basic practice session includes warm-ups and drills to improve passing, communication and shooting. They then continue in a series of offensive and defensive drills before concluding with five-on-five scenarios. According to Gonzalez and Aguilar, the Moors began the season offensively minded, but began to move toward defensive strategy in order to balance the play both inside and outside the paint. Another key area that the team addressed was the injury of the team’s captain and starting point guard, Cesar Gomez.
“After we lost Gomez due to a fractured leg, we really had to make adjustments and find a new identity. Now I feel like we are a defensively minded team and will keep that mentality as we finish league play,” Gonzalez said.
Despite recent losses and setbacks, the team looks toward their last few Almont League games in hopes of qualifying for CIF preliminaries for their third consecutive year.