New gymnasium means teams will play in style

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    The long awaited opening of the new Malibu High School gymnasium will take place Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m., one half-hour prior to the boys high school basketball varsity game against West Valley Christian. The opening of the new gym is the crowning jewel for the young high school. The honor of opening the gym goes to the boy’s varsity team. Many dignitaries and surprise guests will participate in the opening event including Los Angeles Laker announcer and longtime Malibu resident, Paul Sunderland.

    The boy’s varsity high school team will play at 7 p.m., preceded by the girl’s varsity and boys junior varsity games. The boy’s varsity team will be entering the Dec. 12 contest against West Valley Christian, fresh off its 70-53 victory on Dec. 6 against Whitney High School. The varsity team returns senior starters Aaron Smith (honorable mention All-Frontier League) and power forward Jaime Ballesteros. Other returning seniors include guard Blake Ribnick and forward Mawuse Gbgnon. Other starters include returning sophomore guard Zak Katz (second team All-Frontier League) as well as sensational sophomore transfers, guard Shane Mahoney and center Thomas “Baby Shaq” Oden. Returnee Sky Shachory represents the junior class. Newcomers to the team include Mick Dupree, Juan Rubio and Ben Hoffman.

    The boy’s varsity team opened its season on Dec. 2 against New Roads and lost a heartbreaker (58-57) in overtime at the old gym. Leading the Sharks, Mahoney scored 19 points followed by Katz scoring 15.

    The varsity team next traveled to Oxnard to play Pacifica High School on Dec. 4. The team played extremely well, especially considering it played without both its starting power forward and center. The sharks lost to a school of 2,100 students by a very respectable score of 67-58. Four Sharks scored in double figures: Mahoney with 17, Katz with 16, Shachory with 12, and Aaron Smith, 10.

    In the match against Whitney on Dec. 6, the team played with its anticipated starting five for the first time and routed Whitney with a score of 70-53. Newcomer Mahoney poured in 24, Smith chipped in with 13 and Oden controlled the boards and added 12.

    Second-year coach Rich Miller is excited about the season and the brand of ball he expects the team to play this year. Reaching the CIF playoffs is this year’s team goal.

    The junior varsity has started off well with a record of 2 and 1, including a thrilling triple-overtime victory against Whitney High School on Dec. 6. The JV team has also beaten New Roads and lost to Pacifica. They have a balanced attack led by players Dorian Walder, Phil Johnson, Martin Salas and Geoff Roth.

    The excitement of the new basketball program has had a trickle-down effect, allowing the school to produce its first frosh-soph team in years-headed by players Daron Ravenborg and Bennet Sherman.

    The basketball program thanks the high school and its administrators for allowing the team to play in a new, state-of-the-art gymnasium. The entire Malibu community-including the high school student body, surrounding elementary schools and faculty, participants in the City of Malibu’s youth recreational basketball league-and all others are encouraged to attend the opening game celebration and festivities honoring this magnificent gymnasium on Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m.m prior to the varsity game. Seating capacity in the new gym is 1,000.