The Malibu Sharks boys basketball team jumped out to a double-digit lead in their first-round playoff matchup against Santa Clarita Valley International and never looked back.
The Sharks led 33-2 early in the contest, 55-6 at halftime, and went on to beat SCVI 91-18 on Feb. 11 in the opening round of the CIF Southern Section Boys’ Basketball Championships.
Richard Harris, Malibu’s head coach, said the 73-point victory was the biggest margin of victory he has ever had as a coach.
“We came out with more energy than I have ever seen us have,” he said.
Sharks senior wing player Cameron Nwede said Malibu had a lot of discipline and focus.
“We came into the game believing that no game would be easy,” he said. “We knew we had to go all out. That’s how we played.”
Nwede, Malibu’s top scorer in the regular season, had 10 points. Will Caceras led the team with 23 points. Dean Furlong had 19, and Henley Baldwin tallied 12.
The Sharks played at Compton Early College on Tuesday in the second round of the championships. If victorious, Malibu will play the winner of the Marshall vs. Bosco Tech matchup on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Last weekend, Harris said Malibu is a talented bunch that has already played in the first few rounds of the postseason.
“We can win in the playoffs,” he said. “Our goal is to get further than we have ever gotten before.”
The opening-round playoff win pushed Malibu’s record to 13-5. The Sharks’ last home game of the regular season was canceled because of a positive COVID-19 infection on the squad, so the team’s seniors—Nwede, Furlong, Stefan Colburn, Justin Lapinski, and Nate Folkerts—were honored before the victory over SCVI.
Harris said the quintet of 12th graders is a great group. He has coached many of them since they were middle schoolers.
“The purpose of coaching is to develop players and see them maximize their potential,” he said. “When you get to see them at their like the last game, that is just the best. There is nothing better than that.”
Nwede said he and his classmates have grown through their years in high school.
“Every senior we have is a leader, knows how to show respect to the game of basketball, and knows how to execute the things we want to do on the court,” he said.