[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Boys Basketball Preview: West Ranch Wildcats | 01-02-2013
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
65°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
August 19
1879 - Newhall civic leader Charles Henry Kingsburry born in Missouri [story]


| Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013
Loading...
Ako Kaluna

Ako Kaluna has committed to play basketball at Northern Arizona.

West Ranch boys basketball did something last season no other Wildcats hoops team had ever done before.

Win a Foothill League championship.

And in all fairness it was shared with the Canyon Cowboys.

But what makes it even more amazing for West Ranch is it was won by a first-year head coach, the uber-energetic Shant Bicacki.  The bullseye will clearly be on the Wildcats’s back this year as they return ten varsity players, one of the leading scorers in league in Kevin Harris and the Player of the Year — Ako Kaluna.

“Well obviously very excited having Ako and Kevin back,” Bicacki said on the upcoming season.  “Having ten guys coming back for us is obviously a dream come true for a coach.  So we’re very excited .  (We’re) playing in a lot of good tournaments, playing a lot of good competition, trying to get our name out there and trying to make a name for ourselves.”

The Wildcats finished 17-11 last year, 8-2 in league.  They averaged over 70 points a game of offense, 71.5 in league.  They made it to the quarter-finals in the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs before losing a heartbreaker to Mission Viejo.  Despite returning all those players that have big game experience, this year’s Wildcats squad will be different.

“I think we’re a lot deeper,” Bicacki said.  “Last year we came in saying we weren’t going to run too much, we want to slow it down.  But this year we are saying, hey, we are a transition team and instead of adapting to other teams, they’ve got to adapt to us.  We’ve got the biggest and baddest fricking kid out there (Kaluna).  We’ve got a kid who, if open, is going to shoot.  He (Harris) has already hit ten 3-pointers in a game.  We’ve got other guys that are role players that are very confident and have varsity experience and have played in big games.”

Ako Kaluna is a 6-foot-8, 250-pound beast of a reigning player of the year.  Last year he averaged 16 points and 11 boards a game, and even made 70 percent of his free throws.
Kevin Harris averaged over 17 points a game, shot 45 percent from the field and nearly 80 percent from the line.

“It’s no secret.  We don’t have a hidden play or a hidden thing we’re going to do,” Bicacki said.  “They’re the two best players and we are going to give them the ball.  That’s it.  If you can stop them, great.  You did your job.  If not, we’re probably going to win.  It’s like that.  As long as we play hard and we play the way we know we can play, we’re going to beat you.”

“I expect no less than last year…  Foothill League championship and going deep into playoffs,” said Kaluna, who has committed to Northern Arizona.  “Our team is looking better than last year.”

Of course, two players do not a basketball team make.  Seniors Kyle Williams, Zach Nuttal and Cody Sanders, and sophomore point guard Ryan Beddeo are all expected to make contributions to the success of the Wildcats.

“Kyle Williams has been one of the hardest workers for the past four years in our program,” Bicacki said.  “Last year, being his first year on varsity, I think he played off Ako a lot.  This year we’re putting him on the perimeter.  We are very confident with him out on the 3-point line, taking it in, he rebounds the heck out of the ball.  He’s kind of our enforcer, the kind who will do all the dirty work.

“Ryan Beddeo played varsity last year as a freshman.  He’s gotten taller, he’s gotten stronger, he’s gotten more confident.  It’s tough being a point guard in my system since I played point guard, so he gets it the worst.  And he’s done a great job.

“Guys like Zach Nuttal and Cody Sanders… they’ve done their job.  Last year Cody didn’t play much.  This year he is one of our main guys.  Zach Nuttal last year played limited minutes, maybe 15 or 20 a game.  This year he’s one of our starters.  Just them being here for another year with me and them being together, just helps them even more.”

The Wildcats have already opened up the 2012-13 season 10-3 and are ranked third in the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A poll and 18th in Southern California by the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


WATCH NOW
Loading...
LOCAL SPORTS HEADLINES
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Friday, Aug 18, 2017
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Keep Up With Our Facebook
-->
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1879 - Newhall civic leader Charles Henry Kingsburry born in Missouri [story]
Alerted by a concerned citizen Friday, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies once again rescued dogs the owner left in a car with the windows rolled up and no water.
Deputies Break Window, Rescue Dogs Locked in Car
40 oz. to Freedom arrives in Santa Clarita as part of its anniversary tour at Concerts in the Park at Central Park on Saturday, August 19, with showtime at 7 p.m.
August 19: 40 Oz. to Freedom Rocks Central Park
Two local environmental groups filed a complaint in L.A. Superior Court Thursday regarding the approved plan to provide water to the Newhall Ranch development, set to break ground in 2018.
Environmental Groups File Complaint Against Newhall Ranch Water Plan
County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has provided $143,000 in funding to extend the season of youth and adult swim programs offered at the Castaic Aquatic Center through October 31.
Castaic Aquatic Center Programs Extended to October 31
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Los Angeles County firefighters and government leaders welcomed back the Super Scoopers Friday morning. Plus, the Old Town Newhall Library helped get the community ready for it as well by handing out free eclipse viewing glasses. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, August 18, 2017
CalArts alumna Audrey Chan (Art MFA 07) will host a free, all-ages interactive arts workshop in Little Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday, August 19 and 20, as part of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center’s 2017 Nisei Week activities.
August 19-20: Nisei Week Arts Workshop with CalArts Alum Audrey Chan
Western singer and songwriter John Zipperer headlines the next episode of "SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series" at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall the evening of Friday, August 25.
August 25: John Zipperer Toplines ‘SCVTV Presents The OutWest Concert Series’
Habitat for Humanity SFV/SCV is honored to have received a $25,000 grant from the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, which will fund trauma workshops.
Habitat for Humanity Receives $25K Grant from Disabled Veterans
Here are agenda highlights for the next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, set for Tuesday, August 22, starting at 9:30 a.m..
August 22: Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
Ashley Olivier, a student worker at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, summited Mt. Whitney with her dad, a lieutenant at LASD's Monterey Park station.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Student Worker, LASD Dad Top Mt. Whitney
Looking to enter the win column for the first time in 2017 on day two of the Summer Slam volleyball tournament, the TMU Mustangs squared off against 11th-ranked Eastern Oregon but lost in straight sets.
Mountaineers Spike Mustangs at Summer Slam
Caltrans has released "Rail and the California Economy," a research report investigating how the state’s vast passenger and freight rail system contribute to California’s economy, as well as an overview of opportunities for rail to address the state’s needs and challenges in the future.
New Report Details Rail Role in State Economy
The Master’s University women’s soccer team soared to a 7-0 victory over the visiting Eagles from Sierra Nevada College Thursday.
Lady Mustangs Soccer Win Opener 7-0
The Master’s University women's volleyball team concluded their first day of HIU Summer Slam tournament play with a five-set thriller against the Southern Oregon University Raiders on Wednesday evening, dropping the fifth set 15-9.
Lady Mustangs Fall in 5 to Raiders at HIU
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled against claims by a state workers’ union that California’s pension system unfairly changed the terms of a pre-existing collective bargaining agreement.
Court Upholds Increase in CalPERS Retirement Age
Friday's alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District that air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley has been extended through Saturday.
Updated: SCV Air Quality Unhealthy Saturday
Four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics, were released Friday by California's Attorney General.
AG Releases 4 California Crime Reports for 2016
The Master’s University women’s volleyball team lost their 2017 season opener Wednesday at the HIU Summer Slam in straight sets against the Warriors from national powerhouse Corban University (OR).
Warriors Drop TMU Lady Mustangs in Straight Sets
Here's the Castaic/Val Verde (Zone 2) Crime Information and Public Safety Report from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station for the week of August 7 to August 13.
Crime Blotter: Assault, Theft in Castaic-Val Verde
Two Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station employees will be recognized at the City Council meeting to be held on August 22 at 6 p.m.
City Council to Honor 2 SCV Sheriff’s Station Employees
The Santa Clarita Public Library invites residents to celebrate the upcoming total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21 with two free events at the Old Town Newhall Library.
August 18 & 21: Solar Eclipse Events at Newhall Library
The city of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports program has seen measured success thus far in 2017.
Santa Clarita Youth Sports Sees Spike in Participation
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center’s new building campaign now only has $1.3 million remaining to raise before groundbreaking on the site can begin.
New SCV Senior Center Needs $1.3M to Break Ground
Sacramento County sued the California Department of Water Resources on Thursday over DWR's certification of the California 'WaterFix' delta tunnels project’s “dizzying” and “shifting” environmental review.
Sacramento County Sues to Freeze California ‘WaterFix’
1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
' style=
The storewide remodel of the Walmart Supercenter at 26471 Carl Boyer Drive is complete and, in addition to the many physical changes inside, Santa Clarita residents now have access to Online Grocery Pickup.
Walmart on Carl Boyer Drive Celebrates Grand Reopening Friday
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two people have been hospitalized after a major collision. Plus, an acquisition of land near the 14. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday August 17, 2017
Le Chene French Cuisine, a long-time Santa Clarita local favorite restaurant along Sierra Highway, has announced that they will be hosting a thrilling Murder Mystery Dinner on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
Nov. 4: Le Chene Murder Mystery Dinner
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, today announces that he is one of the 2017 inductees into the Antelope Valley High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Sept. 22: Wilk to be Inducted into AV High School Hall of Fame
Signups are under way for the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which offers participants an opportunity to take a healthy stroll, experience outstanding live entertainment, honor loved ones who have been affected by Alzheimer’s and raise funds to battle the debilitating disease.
Oct. 7: Walk to End Alzheimer’s; Signups Under Way
Trammell Crow Company (TCC) andand Clarion Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of 54 acres of land for the development of The Center at Needham Ranch, a state-of-the-art business park in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.
TCC, Clarion Partners Acquire More Than 50 Acres of SCV Real Estate
The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration is hosting what will be a highly educational and informative (and free) Tax Seminar for Nonprofits and Exempt Organizations.
Sept. 6: Tax Seminar for Non-Profits and Exempt Organizations
For the first time in 99 years, a total eclipse of the sun will pass over the continental United States on August 21, and Princess Cruises guests sailing on six cruise ships in Alaska will be invited to special viewing parties as part of the cruise line’s exclusive Stargazing with Discovery at Sea program.
Princess Cruises to Host On-Board Viewing Parties for Solar Eclipse