Boys’ Basketball Shows Depth in Tourney Win

Jack Bunzel-Hardie, Staff Writer

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 The boys’ varsity basketball team dominated the Russ Peterich tournament, held December 5-7, winning each of its games by over 30 points.

Last year, the team saw the tournament as a catalyst for their championship run. Players and coaches were confident about their chances this year. Head coach Steven Dyer said, “We’ve won that tournament the past 2 years so we kind of expected to win it. But I am a little surprised by the margin we won it.”

The team began the tournament by soundly defeating North High School. In the 2nd game, they fought back from an 8-point deficit at the half against Tamalpais, regaining the lead in a dominant 3rd quarter. The squad finished off with a 35-point win over host team Montgomery.

The Cougars showed their depth with bench players spending considerable minutes on the floor.

Senior Carter Mahaney was voted tournament MVP while junior Emmanuel Callas and sophomore Matt Radell earned All-Tournament honors.

Radell said the team “played really well together.”

Callas was also impressed by his squad’s performance. “My freshman year was a lot tougher. We won the semifinal in overtime and we only won the championship by 2. And last year it wasn’t that close – we won by about 15 – but this year we beat every team by 30,” he said. 

Dyer acknowledge that his squad’s early-season success creates a unique challenge. “Something our group has to deal with this year is that we have much higher expectations from those around us ,” he said. “On the inside, it’s still the same. Our goal is just to get ready for league play.”

This year’s team isn’t concerned with “setting big goals,” as they are “just focusing on growing as a team together and winning the next game,” said Callas, who added that the State Championships are still “way too far away.”

“I think there’s a decent amount of work to be done, but that being said, we have a lot of confidence because we work so hard and have been successful so far,” said Callas. “All of our guys are pretty good and everyone is putting in a lot of work. I trust all the guys on the team.”

Radell does have one goal for topping the performance of last year’s state champs. “I hope not to lose any league games this year because we lost 1 last year,” he said.

The team’s defense will be integral this season, according to Dyer. “Being strong defensively every single game will be the most important when reaching our goals,” he said.