The Malibu High Sharks boys basketball team entered the week one victory away from a CIF championship matchup.
The Sharks downed Bosco Tech 67-45 in the quarterfinal round of the 2022 CIF Southern Section Boys’ Basketball Championships Division 5AA on Feb. 18.
The win put Malibu in the championships’ semifinals for the second consecutive season. Last year, the Sharks were downed by a talented Faith Baptist squad. One Tuesday, Malibu played at Villanova Prep, a squad, the Sharks, defeated by three points in a tournament in December in one of the Division 5AA’s two semifinal games.
Malibu head coach Richard Harris said last weekend he was glad his bunch advanced to the semifinals again and hoped they could advance to the championship contest.
“I’m proud of them,” Harris said of the Sharks. “They have accomplished a lot already, but we can’t stop now.”
Senior wing player Cameron Nwede led the Sharks with 30 points and 24 rebounds against Bosco Tech. Senior Dean Furlong swished in 22 points and recorded 6 blocks.
Harris said Malibu started the contest slow but dominated the second half thanks to Nwede and Furlong.
“Dean and Cam just took over the game,” he said. “Their skillsets were just stronger than the other players. The magnitude of the game—the gaudy stats—those are standout stats. A lot of teams don’t have the players that can do things like that.”
The winner of the Malibu/Villanova Prep contest will face the winner of the Chaffey/Northview semifinal on Friday for the Division 5AA crown. If Malibu is in the championship, there is a possibility they could host the game.
Malibu’s win over Bosco Tech came three days after they defeated Compton Early College 57-44 in the second round of the playoffs. The Sharks opened the playoffs with a 91-18 home victory over Santa Clarita Valley International.
Harris said Nwede and Furlong, along with their classmates Stefan Colburn, Justin Lapinkski, and Nate Folkerts, have led Malibu consistently in the playoffs.
“The five seniors have set us apart from the other teams,” Harris said. “Bosco Tech is really talented, but their star players are freshman. Having a senior-led team separates us from a lot of other teams because the seniors understand the moment. They are comfortable and confident. They make good decisions in good moments. They don’t try to do too much. They don’t go outside themselves.”
The Sharks’ coach said despite Malibu’s postseason success; they still hadn’t played their best game yet heading into this week.
“I’m so proud of this group,” he said. “They have worked so hard. I believe they deserve more. They deserve a chance to win the championship.”