Boys' basketball: It's a learning experience for Alemany
There will be no postseason for Mission Hills Alemany (14-13), the defending state Division III champions who were ranked No. 8 in The Times' preseason top 25 last November.
The Warriors lost their final seven games, most to tough opponents, finished fifth in the Mission League and couldn't get an at-large berth to the 1AA playoffs because it's the one division where most of the berths were filled by automatic spots.
Coach Tray Meeks isn't blaming the Southern Section or anybody else.
"We have to take care of our business," he said.
Alemany had only three returning varsity players and lots of promising newcomers. The Warriors seemed on their way when they had a 14-6 record. But a series of close defeats, along with a couple really bad ones, cost them.
"We're going to be ready to go next season," Meeks said. "It was just a crazy division. At the end, you pretty much need an automatic berth to get in."
That means Alemany needed to finish in the top four in the Mission League.
The Warriors showed off lots of good players, such as junior guard Brandon Boyd, junior forward Bear Henderson and sophomore forward Bennie Boatwright.
"There's a growth process," Meeks said. "We'll take a couple weeks off and be right back at it."
-- Eric Sondheimer