The Olympian High School boys basketball team continues to make history as its speeds toward the school’s first league championship in the sport.
“The school is nine years old and this is exciting that we could be the first league champion at the school for boys basketball,” explained OHS head coach Marty Ellis, whose squad improved to 7-0 in South Bay League play, 22-2 overall, following Wednesday’s 63-47 victory at Castle Park.
“That’s why this season is special. The first one is always the most special.”
The Eagles, who after already having set a new school record for most wins in one season, faced off the season with an 11-game winning streak before being stopped, 80-55, by Palos Verdes in the championship game of December’s Chula Vista Spartan Classic tournament.
The team is currently riding the momentum of a nine-game winning streak.
The secret to success in turning around back-to-back 6-20 and 7-21 seasons can be chalked up to hard work, according to Ellis.
“The guys were always in the gym over the summer, so it wasn’t anything new,” the OHS coach explained. “It’s all about buying into the system. If the guys buy into the system, I have full faith in them.”
And they have full faith in each other.
The Trojans narrowed the score at one point in the second half to five points. But before anyone could even think of an upset, the Eagles were back in front by 10 points.
Gio Martinez led Olympian with 19 points in Wednesday’s game while Sean Hernandez dropped in 16 points.
Isaiah Williams grabbed nine rebounds to lead the visitors.
The Eagles posted a 19-11 record in 2011-12 but finished 6-4 in the Mesa League standings. Olympian, seeded eighth, defeated ninth-seeded Montgomery, 60-45, in the opening round of the Division III playoffs that season but was promptly flattened by top-seeded Cathedral Catholic, 90-43, in the next round.
An appearance in this year’s Division IV finals is not out of the question.
“We’d like to finish one or two in the division power rankings, so that all our games would go through Olympian High School,” Ellis said. “We haven’t lost at home yet this season.”
Olympian holds a two-game lead on second place Hilltop (5-2 in league 9-16 overall) heading into the final three regular season games. The Eagles host Southwest (4-3, 10-16) Friday on Senior Night.
Ellis said the Metro Conference’s reshuffled South Bay League “is what it is.”
“You can check out the other teams’ records and make your own conclusion,” he said.
Ellis said he’s most proud of his players for “buying into the system.”
“As this point of the season, they’re still listening and learning,” the Eagles coach said.
San Diego Section Power Rankings
Boys Division I: 4. Mater Dei Catholic (19-4); 20. Eastlake (12-12)
Boys Division II: 14. Sweetwater (12-10); 20. San Ysidro (10-16)
Boys Division III: 2. Otay Ranch (17-9); 9. Montgomery (10-15); 13. Bonita Vista (12-12)
Boys Division IV: 2. Olympian (22-2); 11. Lutheran (13-8); 14. Hilltop (9-16); 16. Castle Park (5-17)
Boys Division V: 4. Bayfront Charter (11-5); 5. Southwest (10-16); 6. CVLCC (7-4); 7. High Tech High Chula Vista (12-13); 8. San Diego Academy (11-6)
Girls Division I: 6. Eastlake (19-6); 12. Mater Dei Catholic (15-8); 22. Bonita Vista (11-14)
Girls Division II: 10. Olympian (9-14); 12. Otay Ranch (9-10); 17. Montgomery (6-19)
Girls Division III: 8. Chula Vista (11-11); 15. Sweetwater (8-15); 19. Castle Park (7-13)
Girls Division IV: 5. San Ysidro (10-7); 13. Chula Vista Calvary Christian (12-6); 19. Southwest (3-17)
Girls Division V: 3. HTH-Chula Vista (15-4); 7. Mar Vista (14-5); 13. San Diego Academy (7-10)
Girls Basketball Standings
(Through Feb. 8)
Eastlake 9-0, 19-6
Mater Dei Catholic 8-1, 15-8
Bonita Vista 5-4, 12-13
Olympian 5-5, 10-13
Montgomery 4-7, 7-20
Otay Ranch 3-6, 9-10
Hilltop 0-11, 5-18
South Bay League
Chula Vista 7-0, 11-11
San Ysidro 5-2, 10-7
Mar Vista 4-3, 14-4
Sweetwater 4-3, 8-15
Castle Park 1-6, 6-13
Southwest 0-7, 2-18