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Bell-Jeff basketball still learning summer lessons

Basketball: Young and short-handed, Guards struggling to find themselves in summer play.

June 21, 2013|By Nathan Cambridge, Special to the Leader

WOODLAND HILLS — For Bellarmine-Jefferson High boys’ basketball, the summer is a time to gain experience, work in new players and learn lessons about what it will take to succeed on the floor in the upcoming high school season.

“Nobody is coming into summer ball trying to win a championship game,” Guards assistant Eddie Miller said. “We’ve got a lot of sophomores and freshmen playing right now. One thing that coach Julian [Andrade] and I were trying to work out is the kinks, get them comfortable with executing.”

The Guards’ summer curriculum continued against El Camino Real as both squads finished up pool play as part of the annual War on the Floor tournament at Los Angeles Pierce College Friday evening. It turned out to be a hard lesson. Bell-Jeff was overwhelmed on both sides of the floor, losing, 65-23, to a lanky Conquistador squad that played crisply throughout, in contrast to the Guards, who are still struggling to find their way.

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“The tempo is a little uncomfortable for us,” Miller, who acted as the head coach against El Camino Real, said. “[A lot of guys have been] playing JV, so varsity guys are stronger and guys are bigger, so they’re having a tough time adjusting to it, but that is what summer ball is all about.”

Bell-Jeff never led in the contest and was limited to four field goals in each half. The Guards struggled to move the ball up the court or operate in the half-court against the suffocating defense of El Camino Real. The Guards, playing without Malcolm Regisford, who is away visiting colleges, did have eight players score.

“We’re really trying to get our upperclassman, Abid Oses and Clark Thomas, who is over as a new addition, to carry the team,” Miller said. “We’ve got a real young team and, if we’re not careful, it’s going to be the blind leading the blind. So really [we need] our older guys to step up and lead the team.”

They were led by Abid Oses with five points. The junior-to-be also had his team’s two assists, one of which went to incoming senior transfer from Pacifica Christian Miles Hopkins, who was one of two Guards with four points.

“We are coming together game by game with this new team,” Oses said. “We’ve got to keep working.”

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