MHS boys hoops have solid performances

Sophomore Chandler Abbott rises to the basket for two of his 26 points against West Adams.

The Malibu High School boys basketball program rolled over West Adams Prep, with the varsity and junior varsity squads earning victories on Saturday.

The varsity team (9-7) convincingly defeated West Adams, 59-47, in the first annual “To the Rack Showcase,” which included 12 teams playing six games back-to-back at Pepperdine University. Among the participants were a team from Oakland and three of the top ten ranked high school teams in California: Taft (3), Compton (5), and Dominguez (6)

The Sharks were led by sophomore sensation Chandler Abbott, who scored a team-high 26 points. Abbott said he was proud of the team’s performance,

“[The Panthers] came into the game with a 0-7 record, and we were able to make it 0-8,” Abbott said.

Other strong performances for Malibu came from Ryan Walczuk, who scored 15 points, as well as center Chris Peck, who, along with Abbott, dominated the offensive and defensive boards.

Head coach Jack Pollon said he was pleased with the victory, but felt the team played “OK.”

“Once we get to league play, we are going to have to take our game to a higher level,” he said.

The JV Sharks took on the Panthers first at home on Saturday, and came up with a 39-30 victory. Junior Seth Rubinroit led the team in scoring with 11 points. Sophomores Max Flores and Michael Thomas Viscar, added nine and seven points, respectively.

The Sharks got off to a solid start, holding West Adams to only two points in the first quarter.

The JV Sharks came off of an 11-day winter break to play in the Chatsworth JV Classic Jan. 2-5, where they earned a respectable 2-1 record, defeating both Monroe and Panorama, and losing to basketball powerhouse Compton High School.

Tuning up in the tournament before facing West Adams, head coach Patrick Miller said he was not carrying high expectations. “We hadn’t practiced at all over the break. I looked at the tourney as an opportunity for [the players] to get some game experience against good teams.” The Sharks did just that, getting support from two sophomore varsity players, Ben Rotman and Ben Apstein, who brought much needed energy and determination to the team in their two victories.

The varsity team plays its first league game on the road Friday against Fillmore. The freshman-sophomore and JV teams on Monday play their league home openers against Buckley at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively.