Braves to host winter basketball tournament

0
38
WEBbasketball.jpg

Students may be on Christmas break, but high school gyms around San Diego are still immersed in the clamor of squeaking sneakers, referee whistles and the rhythmic thump-thump-swish of a heavy basketball.

December is filled with a sequence of tournaments for ambitious basketball programs to keep their skills sharp and their attention focused despite the distractions of the holiday.

Students may be on Christmas break, but high school gyms around San Diego are still immersed in the clamor of squeaking sneakers, referee whistles and the rhythmic thump-thump-swish of a heavy basketball.

December is filled with a sequence of tournaments for ambitious basketball programs to keep their skills sharp and their attention focused despite the distractions of the holiday.

El Cajon Valley High School will be hosting the Braves Winter Tournament from December 27-30, which will draw in schools from all over the county.

“They will be the same caliber as us,” said El Cajon Valley boys head coach Scotty James. “Teams who are looking to get better and want to get some games in to accomplish that.”

The tournaments are actually crucial to building the team in preseason, said James.

“One of the positives about tournaments is that you get a lot of games consecutively, so if you don’t play well, you can wash it out of your mind the next day,” he said. “You also get to really work on things. When you play back-to-back, you see a lot of progress in a short amount of time.”

Working with a smaller team, the Braves (1-4) have been struggling in preseason play. 

“We’re working hard,” said James after a nonconference match at Olympian high school on December 17. “We haven’t realized our potential and it’s because we still haven’t focused on doing the little things right yet. When you don’t do the little things, you’re never going to realize how good you can be.”

But James said the team has been persistent and is not giving up, a quality certainly displayed in their game against the Eagles, which they lost 69-42. Although not as aggressive offensively, the Braves held their own on the court with an admirable display of teamwork.

“We came out to fight,” said Braves senior Dmir Witherspoon. “Defensively, we came out well. I’m not all that good with the score, but I feel like we did well.”

Witherspoon is one of six seniors on a roster of nine players, which some of the team said works to their advantage.

“It’s our last year,” said Braves senior Greg Jones. “We’re going to make something of it.”

Jeremiah Davis, also a Braves senior, said starting his final season is a little bittersweet, but that he is staying focused on the games ahead.

“It’s kind of sad, but you’ve got to give it all that you’ve got,” he said.

Home court advantage may give the Braves a boost of confidence for their winter tournament, but they have their work cut out for them when league begins. Santana and Granite Hills have 13 wins between them and only four losses. Mount Miguel brings up the middle of the pack in Grossmont Valley standings, 3-3.

El Cajon Valley plays their first league game against rival school Granite Hills on January 13, 2017.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here