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New basketball players advance at Vista

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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With only three players back from last winter?s varsity basketball team, the job for Matt von Tillow during the summer basketball season was to mold a whole new team together. Only Drew McPherson, Jake Duenkel and Ian MacLachlan returned for summer ball off of Vista del Lago?s team that reached the second-round of the playoffs in February and finished with a 14-15 record. ?We had to figure out what we had and see who was going to step up,? von Tillow said. ?Our goal was to develop players and find the right mix of guys with the right attitude, as well as being able to play.? Von Tillow kept a roster of 16 players during the summer, five seniors, five juniors and six sophomores. In fact, he had 30 kids come out for tryouts, which meant he had to make cuts. ?It?s a good problem to have,? von Tillow said. ?Even with picking 16 guys, though, it was tough to get playing time every game, but we played 41 games and everyone got a good amount of time so I could see what they had.? The summer season lasted the month of June, as the team played in summer leagues at Florin High and Union Mine, as well as tournaments on the weekend. While von Tillow wasn?t sure of the team?s win-loss record, he said it was close to .500. ?We never got blown out and had a lot of games that could have gone either way,? he said. ?I thought that was pretty good considering how young we are. The best part was that we started to play our best basketball the last two weeks. By the end of June, everyone understood what I wanted and the dynamics of the team were coming together. Everyone ended the summer on the same page, which was good.?