SAN BRUNO — Sam Tobin may have graduated, but teams facing the Mountain View Spartans this season will still have to worry about defending number 30.
Junior Ryan Bahar, wearing Tobin’s old jersey number, scored 16 points in his varsity debut as the Spartans opened their season with a 49-41 win at Capuchino on Tuesday night.
“We lost a lot of talent, so with Jailen (Daniel-Dalton) out, I wanted to pick up some slack on the scoring end,” the 6-foot-4 Bahar said.
With Daniel-Dalton, who would have been the only returning starter from last year’s CCS Division II Championship team, out for at least two weeks with a dislocated shoulder, head coach Kevin Mack rotated through 15 different players in a search to find combinations that will stick, but Bahar was a constant. He scored eight in the first quarter and hit a pair of threes in the third, the latter of which gave Mountain View (1-0) a comfortable 45-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter, in which Mack continued to test his team’s depth with the outcome in hand.
“Defensively, with our pressure-type system, we’re gonna rotate guys and find out who we can play in what situations,” Mack explained. “We were a little liberal tonight on what our rotation’s going to be like, being our first game of the year, and we’re young. We’ll probably mix and match and get down to 11 to 12 guys most likely.”
With Daniel-Dalton out, the Spartans had just five seniors available and one of those seniors, Andrew Bice, had been playing football until just two weeks ago. The youth and depth proved to be an effective combo against the undersized Mustangs as 10 different players found the scoresheet, with sophomore Patrick Kane dropping in nine points. Mountain View led for all but the first two minutes, never trailed and outscored the host Mustangs 21-12 in the third quarter. The lead was trimmed to just two late in the second quarter on an Anthony Contreras lay-in before Gabe Martin’s three from the wing closed the half and gave the Spartans momentum that carried into the third quarter.
It was a game that the Spartans were worried would get canceled after heavy rains contributed to traffic, turning what should have been a 40-minute drive into an hour-and-a-half. Following the JV game, a wet floor raised doubts over whether it would be safe to play the varsity contest, but after a 17-minute delay, the teams and officials deemed the court playable.
“First game of the year, always anxious,” Bahar said. “I was just looking forward to the game getting started, hoping it wouldn’t get canceled.”
Capuchino (0-1) was led by Nick Solorzano, who scored 12 points on four second-half threes. Patrick Volkman added nine and Jerry Kusonsrang added six to go with his game-high eight rebounds.
“We didn’t handle the press like I wanted to and we need to play a little bit more under control,” head coach Marty Ruiz said. “We’ve had 12 practices. I think we’re a little bit ahead of where we were in the last few years at this point. I think defensively we’re in good shape. We didn’t give up any transition layups that really bothered me, and we rebounded well against a team with better height.”
Mountain View returns to action next Wednesday in the first round of the Westmont Tournament against Willow Glen. Capuchino travels to South San Francisco next Tuesday.