This is definitely a busy time of year. We have played 10 games in a very short amount of time and my players and I are all exhausted. We have gotten off to a great start with a 10-0 record to start the year. This is the best start at Ontario since the early 1990’s. At this point in the season we have played a fairly weak schedule but our confidence is now sky high.
Our work that we put in during the offseason is definitely paying off and all of the things that I have blogged about are working. Here are the scores of our opening 10 games:
La Puente 8
Saddleback Valley Christian 25
Jurupa Valley 53
South El Monte 24
Lennox Academy 10
Mountain View 40
We are currently in a week and a half period without a game and we are putting in some very hard work during practices. In spite of a 10-0 record, I believe that we have a long way to go to maximize our potential. By drilling down on defense and running to stay in shape, we will hopefully be more than prepared for our next game on Wednesday December 20th against Pomona.
My priority is my team so my next blog post will probably be in January. Have a very happy holidays and may the new year bring your teams all great success.
This was a great week for my team. The weekend had us playing 2 fall league games against both Rosemead and Fontana. We finished up with a short week of practices on Wednesday due to a pep rally on Thursday night. The pep rally was introducing all winter sports teams at the school.
The first fall league game against Rosemead started out a bit slowly with us out to a 2-19 deficit to start the game. Instead of losing my temper, I called a timeout and refocused our offense and tweaked our press break. By halftime we had cut the deficit to 5. By putting the focus back onto our defense, we ended up taking a lead and holding onto that lead for a 36-31 victory. I am encouraged by the fact that we held a very solid Rosemead team to just 12 points in the last 30 minutes of a running clock game. However, we need to be better to start out games and be focused on not digging a hole.
After a one hour break, we then played Fontana High School and had the opposite start of the first game. We led 36-2 starting out the game and were much more focused. After the huge start, I allowed everybody on the bench to get in for extended minutes and pulled off our press. Had this been a regular season game I think that I would have pushed a little bit longer just to ensure that the game was out of reach. This was a great opportunity to allow those players who probably won’t see the court as much to play a lot and get opportunities to score. We ended up winning this game by a final score of 49-12.
In practice we had a focus on conditioning for the first 30 minutes of practice and then spent another 2.5 hours on getting better on the court. Monday and Tuesday went exceptionally well, so I presented the team with a challenge. If they all turned in grade checks on Wednesday and at least half of the team had over a 3.5 GPA, we would have a light day on Wednesday. On Wednesday I found out that 9 of my 13 had a 3.5 GPA or higher and 3 of the remaining 4 had a 3.0 or higher.
Because of the excellent work that they had put in on the court as well as the excellent work in the classroom, I prepared a scavenger hunt as a team building activity for that day. We spent an hour running around campus to solve riddles and find clues. The team enjoyed the activity and also had a great time doing something different from the typical practice. It was an excellent week to close out the week and to prepare for the season.
We are a couple of weeks put from the start of the regular season and we have started to really ramp up practices. I am a strong advocate for making the two weeks prior to the regular season a very difficult challenge both with conditioning and basketball skill work. The reason behind this is that it help your team improve and also gives them a sense of accomplishment when they’ve finished what they have set out to do.
This week I had practice just Monday-Thursday but they were some solid practices. We did 30 minutes of sprints, defensive slides, and burpees, followed with 2.5 hours of basketball work. My team worked hard and did an excellent job of showing tremendous growth. As a reward, I gave them Friday off from practice which they were excited about because it’s a non-school day.
One of the best signs from this week was when we scrimmages against our freshman boys basketball team. In the past we have scrimmages this team and never gotten a victory. On Wednesday we beat them in two out of the three games that we played. The team is starting to really come together and I have come up with a fun team-building activity for next week as a reward.