Mats Shoot for NCS

Kelsey Williams

After a devastating loss in the NCS finals last season, the Miramonte basketball team hopes to bounce back and take another shot at the NCS title. However, the team returns this year without their 6’9” star post player, Eric Obeysekere ‘09, along with Austin Grier ‘09 and Jared O’Leary ‘09.

“Without Eric we’re going to lose scoring, rebounds, ethnicity, and shoe size,” said co-captain Davis Louie ‘10, who leads the team with Chris Hatfield ‘10 and Spenser McDonald ‘10.

The Mats opened the season on Nov. 28 with a loss in a non-league game against Oakland High at the NorCal Tip-Off Classic at Newark Memorial High, 65-72. Although they started slowly, on Dec.1, the team won a non-league game against JFK-Fremont, 74-60.

They were defeated by Skyline on Dec. 4, 60-49, but after this small bump, the winning streak continued.

On Dec. 10-12, the team traveled to Livermore to participate in the Granada tournament where they competed against Ripon, Freedom and Antioch. On Dec. 15, the team played St. Mary’s. (Score not available by press time.)

The men’s basketball team will continue playing with help from returning coach Dave Brown and assistant coaches Drew McDonald and Fred Brown. New key additions to the varsity team this year include Ross Anderson ‘12, Brian Henson ‘11, Kazuya Tamura ‘11, and Jack Pietrykowski ‘12.

The starting lineup includes Louie, Hatfield, McDonald, Payam Vadi ‘10, and either Anderson, Anthony Piganelli ‘11, or Troy Akin ‘10.

This year’s X-factor is Vadi. He brings energy and physicality to the team like no player can. These key attributes help spark critical momentum shifts during the course of a basketball game. Despite the fact that they lack height, the players have learned to work effectively as a team by complementing each other with their talent and good looks.

“The team is just really cute this year,” said Louie.

During winter break, the team will travel to San Diego for four days and play four games in the Torrey Pines Classic tournament.

“San Diego will be a good way to gauge how competitive we will be this year,” said Nick Mora ‘10.

Campolindo and Dougherty Valley will both be challenging teams this year. “Dougherty Valley is going to be the surprising team. I think we underestimate them,” said Grant Huhn ‘10. “We underestimated them last year and barely beat them both games.”

The Mats are confident they will win league and hope to finish undefeated.

“We are feared in DFAL,” said Akin. “As reigning champs, we are the team to beat.”

The team will play Terra Linda at 7:00 p.m. at home tomorrow.