A quartet of Malibu High Sharks boys basketball players will be honored during the team’s senior night celebration.
Twelfth graders Cameron Nwede, Dean Furlong, Nate Folkerts, and Stefan Colburn will be celebrated as the Sharks host Citrus Coast League-opponent Hueneme at 7 p.m. The matchup is Malibu’s final game of the regular season.
Sharks head coach Richard Harris said the four seniors are great leaders.
“Dean and Cam are probably the two best players in 5AA,” he said. “Stef and Nate make the game easy for me. Those dudes know where to be and what to do on the court. The four are competent and accountable. I tell them something once, and it’s done. The other players fall into line after those guys.”
Malibu is closing its season as one of the highest-ranked squads in the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA rankings. At press time, the bunch was ranked second, behind first-place Santa Clarita Valley International, but the Sharks began the Jan. 24 week atop the poll of 51 high school hoops teams.
Harris, Malibu’s coach for a number of seasons, said Sharks teams have been ranked highly in the 5AA polls in earlier portions of the season before, but never this late before.
“This is the perfect time,” he said. “If we could be number one going into that playoffs, that would be a great advantage. The players have put in a lot of time and worked hard. The ranking is well earned.”
The coach said the keys to Malibu’s success on the hardwood are the leadership provided by the four seniors and the team’s defense. Harris also said the Sharks’ offensive efficiency, which he credits assistant coach Larry Furlong, Dean’s father, for game planning, has been spectacular.
“These dudes have been disciplined on offense, they are playing well on defense, and then they have a good repour with one another,” Harris said. “Everything they are getting, they are earning.”
Nwede averages around 20 points a game, leading the Sharks, and Furlong rings up around 15 points a contest.
“There aren’t many weaknesses in Dean’s game—he handles the ball, he’s smart, and is a really good shooter,” Harris said. “Cam is an aggressive scorer and a power player. That is his strong suit. Both have the capabilities to play multiple positions.”
Malibu’s third top scorer is junior Will Caceres.
“He’s our best three-point shooter,” Harris said. “Will stepping up for us this season has been a big surprise. Every game, he hits two to four three-pointers.”
The Sharks entered the week with an 11-5 overall record and a 4-2 record in the Citrus Coast League. Malibu played at Hueneme on Monday and hosted Carpinteria on Wednesday.
Malibu will compete in the CIF playoffs once the regular season ends.
At the start of their 2021-22 campaign, Harris said, Malibu’s players said they wanted to do something special this season.
“If we do what we are supposed to do, that should lead us to the championship game,” he said.