While most of us were enjoying the winter break, Malibu High’s Varsity and Junior Varsity teams spent their winter break in Palm Springs competing in the Maxpreps Holiday Classic Tournament. While shorthanded due to illness and injuries, the varsity team performed admirably against Division I & II teams (the Sharks are Division IV) finishing sixth in their tournament.
On Friday night, Malibu High returned to the Tri-Valley League after winning the Frontier League last year (undefeated in League play), playing against St. Bonaventure Seraphs of Ventura. The first quarter was a scrappy affair with both teams testing and feeling each other out. While the Sharks jumped to an early lead, they could not hold onto it and trailed at the end of the quarter, 13-11.
In the second quarter, Nick Carlson, Vinnie van Patten and Jonathan “Boogie” Baldwin made their representative debuts for Malibu in League play. The Sharks continued to get good shots but on numerous occasions the ball took cruel and unusual bounces, rimming in and out of the basket. It just would not fall for Malibu. Meantime, the Seraphs caught a couple of lucky breaks towards the end of the quarter to head into the halftime up 25-16.
Malibu had to make changes at the half or there was a real chance the game was going to get away from them. The Sharks came out in the third quarter playing man-to-man defense. Coach Tenorio usually plays a help-zone defense but changed tactics in order to confuse the Seraph’s offense, it worked amazingly. Not only did the Sharks maintain their discipline in defense, the offense also picked up. Malibu showed great patience and solid execution to close the gap and were unlucky not to be ahead by the end of the third quarter. The Sharks headed into the final period down only 34-32. It was a team effort, the question was, could Malibu maintain the intensity when Coach Tenorio had already relied so heavily on a very short rotation.
The fourth quarter opened with St. Bonaventure going on a 7-2 run but Malibu continued to hang in the game and claw its way back but just could not get over the hump. The Sharks were within 4 points 43-39 with a little over a minute to go and then it came down to free throws. While the Seraphs did not shoot free throws very well throughout the game, they made them when it counted at the end, closing out the game victorious 48-41. For the Sharks junior center, Justin Holmes led the way with 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists; senior forward, Will Rosenthal contributed 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists; senior guard, Andrew Yazdani had 3 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and the only block of the game; freshman guard, Frankie McGovern dropped in 6 points; junior guard, Anthony Kodomichalos had 3 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and took a charge; and Nick Carlson chipped in with 3 strong rebounds.
The Sharks finally return home to Malibu next Wednesday, Jan. 9, when they will play the visiting Oaks Christian High School at 7 p.m. (tickets available at the door). See you there.