Season ends with first-round loss

BOYS BASKETBALL After starting 3-0, the team finished the regular season with seven losses.

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

After a 59-56 loss in the first round of the CIF Playoffs, the Diamond Bar boys basketball team’s season is over.

After a promising 3-0 start to the season, the Diamond Bar boys basketball team ended on rough note, losing its last seven league games, placing fifth in the Palomares League and finishing with an overall record of 14-14.

Their first loss of the season was a blowout at Claremont, 100-67, which begun the boys’ seven-losing streak. After their first meeting with Claremont, the team dropped three more double digit losses against Bonita, Glendora and Ayala.

However, some of the losses were very close like the team’s second meeting with Claremont, in which  the Brahmas lost 51-50 in the final minute of the game and a 72-71 loss to South Hills.

The boys finished the regular season with a home loss against Bonita, 66-41.

“We’ve been a kind of even-keel  team this year. We’ve lost a couple of close games late, but as far as energy for the team, I liked the way we finished the season. [It] just didn’t translate into wins…” head coach Henry Frierson stated.

According to Frierson, his only disappointment  was the defense’s ability to handle man-to-man defense.

In its ten league matches, the boys were allowing 60 points per game. Although the team was much smaller than last season, Frierson doesn’t consider that an excuse.

Still, the team was able to find success in areas, specifically on the offensive end. According to Frierson, the team’s points per game improved this year, and the Brahmas’ offensive efficiency rating was one of the highest in the last few years.   The boys averaged 61 points per game while  shooting 39 percent from the field.

A large part of the success on the offense was due to senior point guard and captain Malik Corey, who led the team in points per game with 16.2 and 3.2 assists per game.

However, Frierson is looking to have a more balanced offense rather than placing the burden of the offense on an individual player’s shoulders.

“We’re going to absolutely lose our best player this year, but I think we’ll be doing it more by committee next year. We’ll be just fine. Next year, we’ll have a more balanced attack,” Frierson said. “

Compared to last season, in which the team lost only three seniors, this year’s Brahmas are losing eight seniors, but multiple underclassmen are already stepping up to the challenge.

Junior captain Kingston Ko, who averaged 3.4 points per contest, and sophomore Mike Gao, who led the team in rebounds and blocks per game with 5.5 and 1.7, respectively, are two players Frierson has high hopes for next year, expecting them to pick up the scoring duties that will be left behind by Corey.

Sophomore Myles Corey has already been an integral part of the team, as the team’s second leading scorer with 13 points per game. Yet, he is expected to play an even bigger role for the Brahmas.

Although the season ended with a first round exit, Frierson still sees it as a step up from last year and is optimistic for what the next season holds.

“This was the best overall record we’ve had in awhile. We’ve won our first tournament in probably ten years or so, and our offensive rating has been one of the highest in recent years,” Frierson said. “I think we’re on the way up.”