Boys Varsity basketball rebounds from close loss to first league win

The Malibu High School varsity boys basketball team rebounded from a tough 42-43 loss to Grace Brethren on Wednesday with a 53-40 win on Friday against Carpinteria Warriors. The win marked the Sharks’ first Frontier League win of the season after starting the year with a 0-4 record.

The Sharks began the game with a 5-15 record overall and a 2-7 record at home. The game marks the league season halfway, as Malibu has now played every team one time.

The Sharks and Warriors began Friday’s game with an evenly matched first quarter. By the end of the first period, the Sharks found themselves up 17-14, with freshman center Justin Holmes and junior point guard Kyle Sandler leading the way.

However, the second quarter proved to be the deciding factor of the game, as Malibu took control of the contest with a solid defense and a good fast-break game. At the conclusion of the first half, the Sharks found themselves up by a score of 35-18 after outscoring the Warriors 18-4 during the second period.

“The big energy in the second quarter lifted us to another level,” Sharks Head Coach Bobby Tenorio said. “We just wanted it more than Carpinteria did.”

The Sharks were able to keep their lead throughout the second half by using many of the same techniques that propelled them during the second quarter. A solid defensive scheme along with an effective offensive attack helped the Sharks finish the Warriors.

Friday’s match-up proved to be a large improvement from the Sharks’ past couple of games, as Malibu has surrendered second half leads and has had difficulty finishing games. This included Wednesday’s loss to Grace Brethren when the Sharks gave up a halftime lead to lose the game by one.

“This game was really big for us,” Tenorio said. “We couldn’t finish a lot of our other games and I think this game showed what we are made of.”

The Sharks led 44-25 at the end of the third quarter, and finished the game with a score of 53-40.

The Sharks face a tough schedule as they attempt to scale the rankings of the Frontier League, as four of their five games will be played away from Malibu High. The Sharks’ toughest challenges will come against league-leading Bishop Diego and Santa Paula, both of whom are 4-1 in league play. The Sharks will face both teams this week.

“We have a lot of big away games coming up, so this game was huge because we will need this momentum and intensity to do well,” Tenorio said.

Many of the players feel like Friday’s win was important in that it gave them renewed confidence and focus, as many felt like their record was not indicative of their work and effort.

“Our whole team knows we’re better than our 0-4 start in league, and I think it was really important to show the fans how hard we’ve been working,” Sandler said. “For a while, we forgot what it was like to win.”

This week could be the week that decides how well the Sharks do in league and thus whether or not they will be playing post-season basketball.

“We got the feeling of winning back, so hopefully that means we will get our spark back,” Sandler said.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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