On Tuesday, November 27, Mammoth Huskies boys varsity basketball team opened its 2018-19 season with a 62-39 win over Big Pine.
To start the game the Huskies went on a 12-0 run. Big Pine made the scoreboard with a free throw toward the end of the first quarter. The Huskies held the lead for the rest game. On defense, they played a 2-3 zone and a 1-2-2 zone. They matched up in man-man for a few minutes in the second half. After the game, Head Coach Robbie Presson said that zone compensates for his teams relative lack of height.
The Huskies dined on fast break lay-ups. In their half court offense, they had time and space to move the ball around a Big Pine zone that sagged at the wings. Huskies shooters had their choice of mid-range or three.
The Huskies front court—led by Dylan Eastridge, Seth Gacho, Storm Patrie, and filled out by Cardiff Smith and Ryder Radcliffe—controlled the paint with strong box outs and high hands. They scrapped. Eastridge is listed as 6 foot 4 inches. He keeps shoulder-length hair out of his face with a head band and in one possession grabbed three of his own rebounds from his own missed shots, then scored on the fourth attempt.
Gacho and Patrie like to dive for loose balls and aren’t afraid of contact.
Point guard Liam Bassler is fast. He’s confident going left or right, shoots the three and finishes in the lane over taller players. On defense, he presses, jumps passes and will go anywhere for a double team. Shooting guard Trent Presson is Mammoth’s scorer. He shoots three pointers, can step into the mid-range or drive. Coming off the bench, Joel Guillen adds flair and speed to the backcourt. He enjoys shooting three’s and dribbling between his legs.
The Huskies have just started. Their first practice as an entire team was on Monday, the day before their first game.
“We’re still trying to gel,” Presson said. “We haven’t had a lot of practice because our guys were in football and cross-country playoffs.”
The Huskies have five seniors, two juniors, and two sophomores. Those sophomores, Petr Zastoupil and Ryder Radcliffe are swing players, meaning they play for both Varsity and JV teams. There are fourteen players in the Huskies basketball program, seven on each team.
This is the last season of the Desert Mountain League, which consists of Mammoth, Desert Christian, Lone Pine, and Mojave.
Preston and Assistant Coach Tyson Kaylor agreed that Lone Pine is their rival for the year, but acknowledged that they wouldn’t overlook Desert Christian or Mojave. The Huskies play six league games, each team twice, and eighteen non-league games.