Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Plays in California High School Varsity Tournament


Decarlo Harris dribbles a ball down the basketball court during a morning practice (Adrian Maddox).

Colton Stone, Writer

Two weeks ago, the junior varsity boys basketball team competed in the 84th annual California High School varsity tournament. The team lost both matches in the game, the first game against Fulton High School 57-69 and the second team against Boonville High School 48 to 57. This tournament would help each of the junior varsity players with the things they needed to improve on as they get older, helping them to get on track to playing varsity basketball.

It’s difficult to make junior varsity as a freshman, as the team is very selective. Freshman point guard, Tristan Meny, described the challenges with playing in a varsity game. Meny said, “It honestly just felt like another game, but it was a challenge because they were bigger, stronger, and faster.

Some, however, didn’t feel like a varsity tournament was a challenge.For Sophomore power forward Kylum Harper, playing at California High School was a breeze. Harper said, “It wasn’t as big of competition as I thought it would be because I have played with varsity kids before. This will definitely help me improve my game, it showed me that I gotta get bigger, stronger, and faster and that I gotta crash the boards more.”

Head coach of the junior varsity team coach Tyler Victor wasn’t in attendance, but is still impressed with his team. Victor said “This is the 2nd year battle junior varsity has been in a varsity tournament and it was a great experience to see varsity leveled competition. It was tough because we have 1 junior like 3-4 sophomores and 5 freshmen and it will help them each get ready to have a potential varsity roster position next year or in the coming years. Our purpose of putting them in these tournaments is to see how they deal with adversity and to deal with a lot of things and it gives us a chance to evaluate them and for them to evaluate themselves.”

Because Tyler Victor couldn’t make it to the game, assistant coach, Cedric Alvic, filled in. Alvis said “It wasn’t weird because coaching is coaching. These tournaments will always help them improve because they are playing against higher competition. And yes I do believe that the junior varsity teams should play in varsity tournament because it’s good to see them test themselves to compete at the highest level against some of the best competition.”

Though the team lost the games, team members were very pleased with their performance. Harper said “I think we played really good, considering we only lost to the number one team in class 3 in Fulton by 12. And also I do wish we played in more tournaments like this because it will give us more exposure, and will teach us how to be more aggressive and how to play different against bigger people and will teach us on all the things we can improve on so that we can get better.”

Alvis puts in his opinion about the team’s loss and is optimistic for the future games for boys basketball. Alvis said “It was really fun, it sucks we didn’t win but was fun to see our guys compete.
The Battle junior varsity boys will compete next in the Helias High School junior varsity tournament starting on January 29th.