Sports: Basketball Opens Season with Open Division Title Hopes

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

The Braves basketball season kicked off yesterday with hopes to return to championship glory. Head coach Matt Dunn will have a multitude of players this season who were on the team a season ago, when the team qualified for the CIF-SS Open Division Playoffs, most notably senior guard Josh Camper, junior guard Lamaj Lewis and recent commits Isaiah Holm (Chico State) and Wynton Brown (Northern Arizona). 

Camper, the presumed leader of the team, will be looking to continue his dominance around the three-point line after a junior campaign where he average double figures. Camper, however, will not be a one-man wrecking crew. He will be accompanied by big men Holm and Brown, whose versatility and skill offensively will create matchup problems for a lot of teams this season, as well as by the slashing, play-making ability of Lewis.

Expect these names to carry the offensive load for the Braves, while their core of big men, which also includes sophomores Jeremiah Nyarko and Christian Estrada, who is expected to return in December after breaking his leg in the middle of last season. .

But the Braves never have an easy path to the CIF-SS Open Division, despite two straight visits to the coveted post-season tournament, as they will have to go through the fiery Labrinth known as the Trinity League. The usual suspect will be at the gates attempting to tumble the Braves, and that team is the “Team in Red,” who return a strong core of double-digit scorers.

Tuesday night the Braves were able to take down Burbank High School in their season opener by a final score of 79-51. The leading scorer of the game was Lewis who posted 18 points, 6 of which came from beyond the arc.

Close behind him was Camper who put up 16 points and also had two buckets from three. Braves big man Isaiah Holm sat out the game due to nose surgery last Friday. He will be back Saturday, however, as the Braves take on the Dons from Santa Barbara.

This Saturday is the first big test of the Braves season and it comes early in the season. The Dons, according to sources, are an experienced group built around well-coached juniors and seniors.

The Dons will consistently look for their senior big man down low, and when that fails they’ll rely on their outside shooting. If the Braves are to have success against the Dons, they will have the tough task of limiting the touches on the low block as well as making sure they prevent jumpers along the perimeter.

Expect this game to be tight, however, the Braves will be getting their big man back and will look to rely on the perimeter threats of Camper and Lewis. Remember to come out and support your Braves Saturday night. They’ll tip off at 6 pm at the St. John Bosco Thunderdome.

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