Boys basketball: Familiar faces, new expectations

Senior+Golan+Gingold+tries+to+get+the+ball+around+past+the+defense.+The+team+will+look+for+him%2C+as+well+as+the+other+seniors%2C+to+play+a+big+role+in+the+team%27s+success.+Photo+by+Pranav+Iyer.

Senior Golan Gingold tries to get the ball around past the defense. The team will look for him, as well as the other seniors, to play a big role in the team's success. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

Pranav Iyer

An 8-16 record. A fifth place league finish. One win away from a CCS playoff berth. These are marks that the MVHS boys’ basketball team do not want to repeat. This year, Coach Clay Stiver and the rest of the team have new expectations on their mind.

“I know they’d like to win league,” Stiver said. “I know they’d like to make it to CCS. I know they’d like to beat Cupertino twice, beat Lynbrook twice.”

The Matadors are a much more experienced team, with many of this year’s senior playing significant roles on the team last season. According to Stiver, the Matadors two primary big men, Andrew Ding and Mark Geha, have developed their games greatly

Senior Vasu Gupta facilitates the offense during a practice on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Head coach Clay Stiver is expecting a lot from the guard this year because of their depth and experience. Photo by Pranav Iyer.
Senior Vasu Gupta facilitates the offense during a practice on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Head coach Clay Stiver is expecting a lot from the guard this year because of their depth and experience. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

during the offseason. In addition their guard play, featuring seniors Golan Gingold, Vasu Gupta, and Pranav Srinivas as well as sophomores Ryan Lee and Zach Whong has been much improved and will fit in perfectly to their gameplan.

“We really want to pressure the heck of the ball,” Stiver said. “On the offensive side, we really want to push it.”

The team consists of twelve seniors, making up for eighty percent of their team. Players and coaches both believe that the combination of veteran leadership and camaraderie will lead to the team’s success. Last season’s offensive team MVP, senior Ashween Manimaran, thinks that the current team is better this year because of its chemistry and unselfish play. Like the rest of his teammates, Manimaran will look to be more team-oriented this season. He plans to become more of a willing passer instead of taking over games, especially with teams game planning to limit his scoring. In order to win games, he says, the team has to come out aggressive and control the tempo.

Senior Golan Gingold tries to get the ball around past the defense. The team will look for him, as well as the other seniors, to play a big role in the team's success. Photo by Pranav Iyer.
Senior Golan Gingold tries to get the ball around past the defense. The team will look for him, as well as the other seniors, to play a big role in the team’s success. Photo by Pranav Iyer.

“We played a scrimmage against Wilcox [HS] and came out soft, let them dictate our offense,” Manimaran said. “We have a lot more potential. We want to show other teams we’re not soft. We’re a good team.

Hidden beneath this senior-dominated team are the two sophomores, Lee and Whong and junior, Ron Talmor, who will all be having significant contributions to the team after making the difficult transition up to varsity.

“It’s like a leap forward but once you make that leap and get adjusted to it, it feels like you’re supposed to be there,” Talmor said.

Sophomore Zachary Whong shoots a free throw during practice. He is one of the the three non-seniors that will have major contributions to the team this season. Photo by Aditya Pimplaskar.

The Matadors open up the season with a tough non league schedule, featuring games against two West Catholic schools as well as other perennial powers. They are hoping to come out of preseason play with a winning record which will give them momentum heading into league play. In the El Camino league, they will likely face serious

competition from a multitude of teams including Homestead HS, Santa Clara HS, and rivals Cupertino HS and Lynbrook HS.

The Matadors finally hope to flip to script by winning the league title, making the CCS playoffs and end a streak of six straight losing seasons. With the experience, depth and skill of the team, it is theirs for the taking.

MVHS will open up their season by hosting Burlingame HS on Wednesday, Dec. 3rd at 7:00 p.m.

Additional reporting credits to Aditya Pimplaskar.

Boys basketball: Season preview