MHS Basketball blasts competition

Senior Chris Peck negotiates his way to the basket in a varsity Sharks' 74-30 win over Grace Brethren. Photo by Seth and Sam Rubinroit/TMT

The Malibu High School boys basketball program looked strong last week, with the varsity and junior varsity squads going a combined 5-0.

The JV team began the week on Monday at home against non-league opponent Buckley, who the Sharks defeated 37-34. Malibu led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter, and went into the locker room at halftime up 21-14. The Sharks’ leading scorers were sophomores Ben Apstein, who finished with 15 points, and Max Flores, who ended up with seven.

The JV Sharks’ next game was Wednesday for their second league match-up of the year against Villanova Prep on the road. The Sharks trampled their opponent, 43-21. Apstein again led Malibu with 14 points, all in the first half. Also contributing was fellow sophomore Victor Tyler, who scored eight points. After jumping out to a 13-8 lead in the first quarter, the Sharks went into halftime up 25-10.

The varsity Sharks had a road game against Villanova as well. Malibu won easily, 72-47. The squad saw stellar performances from sophomore Chandler Abbott, as well as from seniors Chris Peck and Ryan Walczuk.

The Malibu teams’ next games were Friday against league opponent Grace Brethren at home. The JV team played first, and came out with a 64-21 win. Apstein again led the Sharks with 19 points, as well as freshman Evan Schoenbrun, who finished with 11. The Sharks also saw outstanding performances from sophomores Garrett Eamer and Max Flores, who ended up with nine and eight points, respectively. The JV Sharks’ third win of the week gave them a league record of 2-1, and an overall record of 8-7.

Not to be outdone, the varsity Sharks came into their game hungry, and it showed in their 74-30 victory. After taking a 19-7 lead in the first quarter, the Sharks went into halftime up 39-15, and ended the third quarter up 57-23. The Sharks’ leading scorers were senior Chris Peck, with 18 points, and sophomore Chandler Abbott, who finished with 12. Junior Mario Johnson and sophomore Ben Rotman also had great games, contributing eight points apiece.

Head coach Jack Pollon said this was a great win for the Sharks.

“It gives them a good feeling going into our next few games,” but he added there are some aspects that they still need to work on. “Defense, defense, defense. Ball pressure, ball pressure, ball pressure.”

The varsity Sharks’ wins this week gives them a league record of 2-1, and an 11-8 record overall.

The JV team goes on the road to face Buckley on Thursday, and the varsity Sharks take on Village Glen at home on Monday at 4:30 p.m. Both teams play, along with the freshman-sophomore team, at home on Jan. 30 when they will seek to avenge their losses to Fillmore. The freshman-sophomore team plays at 4 p.m., the JV squad at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity players take the court at 7 p.m.