VIDEO: Damien coach Matt Dunn talks about the win
Damien boys basketball coach Matt Dunn will say there is a long way to go. Isn’t that what they’re all conditioned to say after every win, even one that has a team in an advantageous position.
But indeed the Spartans are in the driver’s season after a convincing 94-78 win over Chino Hills. The Spartans owned this one from about the 4:00 minute mark of the first quarter.
So they’re only three games into Baseline League play. but Damien (15-2, 3-0) has wins over the two teams considered the other front runners in Etiwanda and Chino Hills. And in the second round it will have Chino Hills at home, with Damien always a tough venue for the visitors.
It was a masterful coaching job by Dunn. The Spartans took a few minutes to get on track but when they did they were a pleasure to watch.
The Spartans were not intimidated and never backed off.
It may have been tempting for the Spartans to go into a defensive shell or just take the air out of the ball once they got a lead in the fourth quarter. but they didn’t do that. They kept attacking and did what they did to get that lead.
Now is the gut check for Chino Hills, which has probably been knocked back down to earth. They have to refocus quick because they have Etiwanda on Friday and the Eagles will be ready.
The other thing painfully obvious is how much the Huskies miss those they graduated in Mark Williams, K.C. Cyprian and Bishop Mency. Sometimes you don’t know what have, until it’s gone.
And let’s not forget Nnamdi Okongwu, who would have been a senior but tragically passed away after injuries sustained in a summer skateboard accident.
The Huskies have marvelously talented players in the Ball brothers, Lonzo and Gelo. But they can’t do it alone. Chino Hills has some good young players, but they’re still developing. Of the young ones, I think freshman Cameron Shelton has great potential.
How those players mature the rest of the way may determine if Chino Hills has another run in it.