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Vista caps off super season as league champs

Eagles end year with 24-1 record
By: Matt Long
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Year one of the Vista del Lago junior varsity boys basketball program was a huge success. The Eagles finished the year winners of 24 of their 25 games, while earning a Sierra Valley Conference junior varsity title along the way with a perfect 12-0 record. The team accomplished three of their four goals, only the undefeated season eluding them, courtesy of a 49-45 loss to Granite Bay on Dec. 18, six games into the season. We wanted to win the Lindhurst Tournament, the Trojan Toss-Up, the league title and then go undefeated so we accomplished three of the four, Vista coach Steve Scott said. The most important thing for us was being a new school and having a new coach, the guys bought into our system and worked hard and adapted extremely well. We've got some guys who can score and a lot of the players are offensive oriented, but we had to become more of a defensive team and that's tough to do, but the kids did a great job and worked together. That was the key to our success this season. The boys saw the value of playing good defense. Vista outscored opponents 57-38 throughout the season, a dominating statistic that meant they not only held opponents to an average of 38 points, but also won each game by an average of 19 points. In fact Scott said that after the team's loss to Granite Bay on Dec. 18, he can only remember his team trailing twice the rest of the season. The team finished off the season in much of the same fashion, limiting Ponderosa to only 32 points in a 47-32 win on Feb. 12. Hayden Lescault led the team with 16 points, while Marques White and Spencer Hatten scored eight and Rushabh Shah chipped in six. The Eagles ended the year with a 63-34 win over Union Mine on Thursday. Lescault again led the team with 12 points. Andrew Norton added 10, while Quay Wiley and Jeff Miller both contributed eight points. It (the season) really was a team deal, Scott said. We had a lot of different scorers where if one guy had an off night, someone else picked it up. It's a great group of kids who were always encouraging one another. With the season now over, the Eagles are looking to the future, when things will likely be a bit more difficult next year at the varsity level. We've got a lot of work to do, Scott said. We've got to get stronger and quicker and become more efficient. We've got to work a lot on the finer points, because the varsity level is a whole other ballgame. Fortunately, most of these guys are gym rats and love playing basketball.