Justin Nast close to being next Miller coach

You may have seen the story about Clovis High assistant Justin Nast named as the next Miller coach.
I was cautioned that it not only is pending board approval, but it is pending reference and background check by the district’s human resources department. So it is not done, quite yet.
But if he does become the next coach, here are the pros and cons I caught from a phone interview I conducted with him.

PROS:

  • He is young (26) and he has the energy to take over a program that needs a nudge in the right direction, not an overhaul despite a 1-9 record last year.
  • He has experience working at two schools that have had success under different offensive systems and will adapt his offense based on personnel, not the other way around.
  • He is already breaking down film from last year, coming up with ideas on how to stop the offensive schemes of Miller’s opponents. That’s getting a head start if you ask me.
  • Coming from outside the area, he can have some fresh ideas and not have preconceived notions about Miller or the Citrus Belt League.
  • Especially at his current school, Clovis, he has shown a dedication to the athletic program as a whole, not just football.

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Cajon girls hold off Miller, 55-53 in a great game

On the surface, there might be little to enjoy about Cajon’s girls basketball 55-53 Citrus Belt League victory over Miller on Thursday.

  • Cajon won despite being held scoreless for the final 2:50.
  • The teams went a combined 0-for-4 from the line in the final 1:01, with Cajon twice missing the front end of a one-and-one.
  • More than 4 1/2 minutes into the game, the score was 4-4.
  • Miller made just eight of 18 free throws in the game.

But despite all that, it was an incredible game. It was probably one of the best league girls basketball games I’ve seen in a long time. It had a great pace to it. Both teams are fast, move the ball and play tough defense, and neither team led by more than seven points at any point in the game. Every shot and pass was contested. Neither team goes deep into their benches for a game like this, and both teams were in foul trouble but that made the game interesting.

Miller definitely has more size and experience. Miller has 6-foot-3 senior LaCrisha Mackall and starts two seniors, two juniors and a sophomore. Cajon has no player taller than 6-feet, and starts three freshmen, a junior and a senior. The contrast in styles was interesting.

I am already looking forward to the rematch, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at Miller. But both teams need to be careful as there is plenty of talent in the league. On an off-night, Miller or Cajon could lose to someone else in the league.