Boys’ Hoops Expects Playoff Success

Amanda Young, Staff Writer

With 8 returning players on the roster, boys’ varsity basketball is looking to make another North Coast Section title game and advance to the Division III CIF State tournament, just as they did last season.

Head coach Steven Dyer, now in his 2nd year at the helm, believes last year’s experience has set up this year’s team for success.

Will Cummins, a 3-year veteran and this year’s team captain, says the squad doesn’t have the height they enjoyed in the past.  Nevertheless, he and his teammates expect to be competitive. “[Compared to last year], we’re a little smaller, but we all know how to play together,” he said. “We like playing with each other, and we know how to pass the ball and move the ball.”

Senior co-captain Trevin Kroichick believes the key will be speed and scoring. “We’re going to have to play at a faster pace and try to rely on our scoring more than our defense,” he said.

Kroichick is also confident in his coaching staff. “I think that [Dyer] is a very smart guy, and he knows what personnel he’s got. I think that, since this year’s team is so different, he’ll do a good job making changes to our plays,” he said.

So far, the team has seen success in their preseason games. “We had one scrimmage in Stockton that didn’t go so well, but aside from that, we’ve been scoring a lot of points and our defense is getting better,” said Kroichick, who added that while the team “has a lot of guys that can score,” consistency in defense will also be important.

Though tryouts were held several weeks ago, Dyer said his roster is not quite set.  He’s waiting on at least 3 players to finish up their football season.

“[Not having these players] obviously has an impact right now, but once they come back, they’ll really help us as well,” said Dyer.  Given the strength of the Diablo Athletic League, which includes solid squads from Clayton Valley, College Park and the other Acalanes District schools, the young coach is eager to finalize his lineup.

Our league is really challenging this year- every team is good,” Dyer said.

While the team did lose 6 players to last year’s graduation, Dyer likes what he’s been seeing from his new captains. “We’ll really rely on [Kroichick and Cummins] because they started for us last year, and they’re starting for us this year,” Dyer said.  

According to Kroichick, he is lucky to have been mentored by solid leaders when he was new to the team. “Chris Wright was a senior that graduated last year, and I really look up to him. He wasn’t really as fiery or emotional as some leaders we’ve had, but he was very intelligent on the court,” said Kroichick. “He motivated other guys and really led by example. That’s kind of what I strive to do, to follow in his footsteps.”

“[I want] to be a leader on the court and off the court [by] showing guys what to do and taking them through the plays,” Cummins added. 

Emmanuel Callus, the only freshman on the team, is optimistic. “It depends on how hard we play and the teams we face, but I think that we’re going to be pretty good,” he said.