To open the Monterey Bay League this season, the Watsonville High boys basketball team will play on the road four times in its first five games, including last night’s loss at Monterey. They still have one more road game, at Seaside on Wednesday, before they finish out the regular season at home five times in seven games.
It’s not an easy way to start the season, but the Wildcatz have at least shown their 4-7 nonleague record wasn’t at all reflective of the team they’ve become. On the road four times in five games to open league could have been enough to sink a youthful Watsonville squad, which is led by its two returners in Lamar Cowans and Ivo Basor. But the Catz have instead opened with a 3-1 record, suffering their first loss last night to Monterey, 68-56.
Watsonville was in the game, too, up until the fourth quarter. The Toreadores opened up the final period on a 10-0 run, after leading by just three points to begin the quarter.
It will be interesting to see how Watsonville takes advantage of the home court advantage it will have for the majority of its remaining games. Monterey visits on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
The key, I’m sure, will be focusing on Monterey’s top three players — Stephen Dorsey, Chris Russo and Brandon Hanson. Those three combined for 51 of Monterey’s 68 points on Thursday.
The question is, can they be slowed down? And if you take away one, will another simply fill the hole? The three are averaging a combined 45 points per game this season for Monterey.
Watsonville’s leader is Basor, although each and every piece surrounding the 6-foot-8 post player is important. Basor can’t do it alone.