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By Steve Breazeale
Last Season: The Eagles finished third in the San Joaquin League and advanced to the semifinals of the CIF-SS Division 5A Championships as well as making an appearance in the Division 5 State Regional Championship.
Players to Watch: KCI Thompson, Simon Okolue, Peter Abramsky, Amazon Nwoye and Cameron Conley.
Circle ’em: A tough preseason schedule includes games against larger schools like Newport Harbor (12/10) and Santa Margarita (2/7). League play highlighted with games against rival Saddleback Valley Christian (1/23, 1/30) and Orangewood Academy (2/3, 2/11).
In the 40-year history of Capistrano Valley Christian School, no boys basketball team had gone to the CIF semifinals and appeared in the State Regional tournament until the 2014 version of the team reached those lofty heights.
The Eagles run through the postseason was their best showing to date. With six of their top players returning from last year, along with newcomers who are already making an impact in offseason training, Capistrano Valley Christian will try to one-up last year’s historic effort this time around.
Much of the team’s starting five return, including All-CIF selection and team captain KCI Thompson, who averaged nearly eight points and three assists per game.
Backing up Thompson at the two-guard spot will be returning guard Peter Abramsky, the team’s leading scorer in 2013.
Eagles head coach Zach Brogdon said 6-foot-10-inch center Simon Okolue, a returning All-CIF selection, can be a game changer on defense and has added to his offensive repertoire this offseason.
Cameron Conley, the team’s designated shooter, and Danny Quinland all return from last year’s cohesive starting group.
“They know our system and they do it extremely well and they play well together. They feed off each other and they know how to motivate each other. It’s nice to see as a coach,” Brogdon said.
The arrival of new young talent to the Eagles roster should add to their depth, which only went so far as six players down the bench last year, Brogdon said.
Junior transfers Amazon Nwoye and Spider Adetunji bring skill, size and athleticism to the group. Nwoye is a 6-foot-6-inch shooting guard who can handle the ball and shoot from the outside, according to Brogdon. Adetunji will team up with Okolue down in the paint to make up a sizeable frontcourt.
“We’ll be able to do a lot of different things. We’re really excited about being able to mix it up,” Brogdon said. “This year I think we’ll be more diverse. It’s depth. Last year we made that run with six guys. This year I think we’ll be eight or nine deep.”
The Eagles will play games against several large schools before heading into the tough San Joaquin League, which features reigning CIF-SS Division 5AA runner up and current top-ranked team Saddleback Valley Christian.
Date Opponent Location, Time
12/3-5 SoCal Classic TBA, TBA
12/10 Newport Harbor NHHS, 7 p.m.
12/15-17 Capo Christian Shootout TBA, TBA
1/7 Laguna Hills LHHS, 7 p.m.
1/9 Laguna Beach LBHS, 7 p.m.
1/10 Valley Torah SCHS, 8:30 p.m.
1/15 Lutheran CVCS, 7 p.m.
1/17 Shadow Hills TBA, 7:30 p.m.
1/23* Saddleback Valley Christian CVCS, 7:30 p.m.
1/24 Polytechnic TBA, 12 p.m.
1/27* Fairmont Prep FPHS, 6 p.m.
1/30* Saddleback Valley Christian SVC, 7:30 p.m.
2/3* Orangewood Academy OAHS, 7:30 p.m.
2/6* Fairmont Prep CVCS, 7:30 p.m.
2/7 Santa Margarita SMCHS, 7 p.m.
2/11* Orangewood Academy CVCS, 7:30 p.m.
*–denotes league game