“We have a lot of young kids this year,” first year head coach Chris Galarsa said. “It's just a learning curve for us. We should be alright.”
The Mount Shasta Bears varsity boys basketball team opened the season last week with a 1-3 mark.
Besides one player, the young team is brand new from last year’s history making team that went 33-2 overall and made it to a CIF State title game for the first time in school history. Longtime head coach Cliff Blakely retired at the end of the season.
First year head coach Chris Galarsa said while there were certainly ups and downs the first week of the season, he believes once the team gains more experience they can have a solid year on the court. Galarsa was the Bears head boys junior varsity coach the past two years.
“We have a lot of young kids this year,” he said. “It’s just a learning curve for us. We should be alright.”
Galarsa said he does not worry about expectations after last season’s performance, and said his goal is to focus on the present and help this new team develop, grow and succeed on the court.
He was pleased the way his team played in the second half of Saturday’s game against Yreka on the final day of the Miner Invitational. Down at the half, the Bears were able to be more consistent on both ends of the floor and were bale to win 44-37.
Galarsa said a strength of the team this year is its depth, with a team of players he believes can contribute. Against the Miners, sophomore Darius Smith led the Bears with 19 points, while senior Matthew Ellerbe had 17 points. Junior Anthony Pigoni had 10 points.
The Bears opened the year last Tuesday at larger division team Enterprise in Redding, falling by the score of 70-37. Ellerbe led the Bears with 10 points.
Thursday, on the first day of the Miner Invitational, MSHS fell to Del Norte 59-50. Junior Mack Wolmar had 11 points, while Smith finished with 10 points. Friday, the Bears struggled against Henley falling 50-24. Junior Kekai Ferguson finished with nine points.
Galarsa is joined on the sidelines this season by his assistant coach in the JV program, Chris Rivera.
He said having him with him on the varsity team is invaluable and said they both complement each other.
The Bears junior varsity team went 3-0 last week and will be at a three-day tournament in Etna starting Thursday.
This week, MSHS faced Anderson at home Tuesday. The squad won the contest 50-48. The Bears are set to host the three-day 50th Annual Mt. Shasta Holiday Tournament starting on Thursday.
Mount Shasta opens tourney play with a 8:30 p.m. game against McCloud.