Diamond Ranch boys basketball team dealing with depth at point guard

The Diamond Ranch boys basketball team has been undermanned lately and it resulted in the Panthers (19-8, 8-2) finishing the regular season with back-to-back losses to Chino and Los Altos, both of whom they defeated convincingly the first time through Hacienda League play.

The good news for coach Eric Cooper is that his team still earned a share of the league title and it is seeded second in the Southern Section Division 3A playoffs which start this week.

Much of the reason for the setbacks has been the depleted backcourt as starting point guard Tyler McLean has been out (coach’s decision) and his backup Coree Joseph has been struggling with a serious case of vertigo.

Cooper is hoping to have McLean back for the first round-playoff game on Wednesday against South Hills (10-16), the last-place team out of the Palomares League.

In the meantime Cooper has moved Ryan Haywood from point shooting guard to point guard with sophomore Nicolas Kaimi, up from the junior varsity, inserted into the starting lineup.

“We have had to get used to guys moving around and being put in new roles,” Cooper said. “It’s a tough time of the year to be dealing with it but we’re getting better.”

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