Malibu goes 2-2 in Summer Shark Showdown

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Senior point guard Kyle Sandler led Malibu High to two wins in the “Summer Shark Showdown” last weekend. Dick Dornan / TMT

The regular season is still five months away, yet basketball is in full swing at Malibu High School. The varsity boys’ basketball team recently competed in its own “Summer Shark Showdown” and lost in the consolation championship game to Pacifica High School, 47-46. The Sharks finished 2-2 during the two-day tournament.

Third-year Head Coach Bobby Tenorio hosted a 16-team tournament that featured teams such as eventual champion Oak Park High School, runner-up University High School of Irvine, consolation champion Pacifica and fellow Frontier League opponents Carpinteria High School, Bishop Garcia Diego High School and Villanova Preparatory School. Oak Park defeated University, 53-50, in what Tenorio described as a thrilling”championship game.

Attendance was good and the competition was even better as Tenorio said he was happy with the annual summer showdown, which took place on the Malibu campus. “It went really well,” Tenorio said. “Everyone was supportive. The coaches enjoyed their experience here and there were some exciting games.”

Ticket sales and proceeds from the snack shack went toward the overall fundraising efforts of the Malibu High School boys’ basketball program, which is traveling to Orlando, Fla. in December for a tournament at the Disney World complex.

“We raised some good money for our trip to Florida,” Tenorio said. “We are off to a good start in fundraising and we are excited about the trip in December.”

The Sharks began the tournament with a first-round game versus the Oak Park Eagles, a team from the Tri-Valley League. The game went back and forth until the Eagles pulled away in the second half and beat Malibu, 39-30. Sharks center Justin Holmes had 14 points and five rebounds, while senior shooting guard Jack Platner added six points and seven rebounds.

Malibu bounced back in a strong way as they soundly defeated Villanova Prep, 60-28, in the consolation side of the bracket. Holmes, a 6-inch, 5-foot sophomore, had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Planter contributed 14 points and six rebounds. Sharks senior point guard Kyle Sandler added eight points, and Harrison Kaplan chipped in with eight points and six rebounds.

In the consolation semifinals, the Sharks knocked off Frontier League rival Carpinteria, 42-18, with a stifling defensive performance. Once again it was Holmes who led the way with 14 points and five rebounds, while Sandler had six points and six assists.

The back-to-back wins earned Malibu the right to advance to the consolation championship game against Pacifica, the school where Tenorio honed his skills as an assistant coach for four years. The Sharks battled the entire game, cutting an eight point deficit to one late in the game after a Platner three-pointer. After forcing a turnover, the Sharks had the ball down by one with 0.8 seconds on the clock. But a desperation pass and shot fell short.

Holmes ended the tournament with another outstanding performance. He scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked four shots. Platner had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Kaplan contributed with eight points and four rebounds.

“We played really well. We just need to learn how to finish,” Tenorio said of the Pacifica game. “It was a tough loss for the guys, but we will grow from this experience.

“I was happy with our overall performance,” Tenorio added about his team, which consists of five seniors, four juniors and four sophomores. “We are young, and our goal this summer is to develop chemistry and bond as a program. Justin [Holmes] had a great tournament. He gave us double-digit numbers every game and was very consistent.”

The Sharks (6-6) compete every Wednesday in the Pacifica Summer League and will participate in the Carpinteria summer tournament this weekend.

Malibu will play Valley Mission League champion John F. Kennedy High School of Granada Hills (10-4) in a summer scrimmage on Tuesday, July 12 at 2 p.m. on the Malibu High School campus.

Tenorio, a 1999 Channel Islands High School graduate, is excited about his team, as they will play close to 30 games this summer while practicing three times a week. The core of the team is back from last year, with Holmes, Platner and Sandler leading the way.

“We have competed pretty well so far against some good competition,” Tenorio said. “I like our team and the summer should really prepare us for the regular season.”