Brahmas off to a winning start

BOYS BASKETBALL With many returning players, the team is off to a 3-1 start, tied for second.

Senior Tyler Tang attempts an acrobatic finish around an Ayala defender.

Stuart Kusdono, Asst. Opinion Editor

The Diamond Bar High School boys basketball team is tied for second in the Palomares League. They have already matched the  number of league games they won last year with their 3-1 record, one of the best starts in recent seasons.

Their start came after a promising preseason. Not only did the team end up with a record of 10-5, an improvement from last year’s 5-10 record, but they also won the Azusa High School Holiday tournament, the first regular season tournament Diamond Bar has won in 12 years.

The team, though, did face some difficulty in closing games during the pre-season. In their game against rival Walnut High School, the team was able to recover from a 17-point deficit to force overtime, but still lost 66-64.

“In the late game, we get pretty nervous because last year we weren’t winning many games, so we don’t have much experience in playing under too much pressure,” senior Travis Lee said. “I feel like as we play more games, though, we’ll gain more experience and figure out how to win those late game situations.”

Learning from their loss, the Brahmas closed out a game against Glendora 73-70 in their  first league game.

The team won its next two league games at home, beating Ayala 48-41 and South Hills  67-55.

“We have made a lot of strides since last year and are continuing to improve in all areas of the game,” head coach Henry Frierson said. “The team has exceeded my expectations.”

One reason for this progress, according to Lee, is  the many returning players. As a result, team chemistry and ball movement improved due to the fact that the players knew each other better.

“We got a lot of senior leadership playing a role this year, too,” Frierson said. “Some standout players include Kelly Avery and Malik Corey, who have been stepping it up.”

Corey, in the game against Glendora, was the primary offensive force of the team, scoring the team high of 22 points on 6-for-11 shooting while dishing out 6 assists. He now leads the team in scoring, with 377 points, and assists, with 63, over the first 17 games and has the highest Player Efficiency Rating.

However, the Brahmas three-game win streak came to an end with a crushing 100-67 loss against Claremont on Jan. 20.

On Tuesday, the boys faced Bonita, and they will face Glendora for the second time this season in a home game on Friday.

“We have a smaller team, so our game is all about speed and getting up and down the floor, and having a high possession game,” Frierson said. “All our players, really, have adapted that philosophy and have been successful getting up and down.”