By SHIVAM SUDAME
Preseason is rapidly coming to a close, and Boys Varsity Basketball seems prepared for a CIF berth.
With two games remaining in preseason, the Trojans are currently sitting at 7-2. They have scored an average of 77.9 points per game (PPG), and have held their opponents to only 66.3 PPG, giving them an 11.6+ PPG differential. They will need to finish in third place in league to clinch a CIF berth.
The Trojans rely on their fast-paced offense to outscore teams. 6’5” senior shooting guard (SG) Alex Bray 28.4 PPG, up from his 24.4 PPG from last season. Bray’s lanky frame as SG allows him to shoot over most defenders, and he seems to favor shooting from range, as over half of his shots have come from behind the arc. However, he is seemingly more successful driving to the basket, as he is shooting 58% inside the three-point line, compared to only 30% from deep.
Senior point guard Kevin Yahampath conducts the offense, averaging 11.3 assists along with 9.4 PPG. He has struggled with his shot, shooting 26% from the floor. However, his playmaking and harassing defense make him an integral part of the team on both ends of the floor. Yahampath and Bray are averaging 3 and 3.4 steals per game, respectively.
The Trojans have more depth this year as well. Junior big man Brandon Liu is averaging 9.6 PPG on 66% shooting and 6.7 rebounds, second on the team to Bray 7.9 RPG. Senior Bryan Nguyen, at 5’9”, is also averaging 3.7 rebounds per game (RPG) and 4.5 PPG on 50% shooting. Corona del Mar senior transfer Shan Dharod is averaging 10.7 PPG, almost exclusively from beyond the arc.
The team still has not forgotten about last season’s finish as well. After losing to Woodbridge in the final game of the season, they finished in a three-way tie with Woodbridge and Beckman. They then lost an elimination game to Beckman, and were knocked out of contention. In a revenge match, the Trojans dismantled the Warriors in preseason 75-58 off of 22 points from Bray and 11 assists from Yahampath.
The team will play Sonora at home before participating in the preseason-ending Marin Catholic Bambauer Tournament. Their league opener, at home against Corona del Mar, is on January 9.