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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
92°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 24
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]


| 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
Monday, Oct 23, 2017
College of the Canyons freshman golfer Joanna Roecker was named the Western State Conference Female Athlete of the Week for week six (Oct. 1-7, 2017).
Monday, Oct 23, 2017
The College of the Canyons Athletics Department hosted a FUNdamentals Football Camp and "Punt, Pass, Kick" Challenge organized by Special Olympics Southern California and the Los Angeles Rams.
Monday, Oct 23, 2017
TMU soccer player Brayden Campos is taking a crash course in goalkeeping. Two full games into his new gig, the freshman keeper is settling in just fine.
Monday, Oct 23, 2017
Early in Saturday’s second half, Sarah Stead chipped a short shot over the Jessup keeper’s head and into the goal, and Master’s hung on for a 1-0 win, its first shutout in two weeks.
Monday, Oct 23, 2017
The Golden State Athletic Conference released its preseason coaches poll on Saturday morning, and The Master’s University men’s basketball team was projected to finish first.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1992 - Dedication of Santa Clarita's first Metrolink station (Santa Clarita Station) [brochure]
Bowman Continuation High School science teacher Ravinder Athwal has been nominated for the 2017-2018 National LifeChanger of the Year award.
Bowman Science Teacher Nominated National LifeChanger of the Year
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a Canyon Country faces enhanced charges in the death of 37 year old Katie Evans. Plus, a special luncheon for families of veterans. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition f SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, October 23, 2017
California State University, Northridge officials have named the building that houses the university’s business college Bookstein Hall, in honor of alumni Harriet and Harvey Bookstein and their generous support of CSUN over the years.
CSUN Names Business College Building for Harvey and Harriet Bookstein
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Santa Clarita will present "Jazz Vespers: A Celebration of Life, Spirit and Music" in honor of All Saints Day on Sunday, November 5 starting at 7 p.m.
Nov. 5: Jazz Vespers at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
A Canyon Country woman faces enhanced charges and increased bail in the death of a mother of a mother of six who was killed in a car crash on Golden Valley Road Oct. 6, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office.
Cina Faces Enhanced Charges in Death of Katie Evans
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station has suspended its "Safe Drug Drop-Off" program for unwanted prescription drugs, sharps and narcotics pending reassessment of the program, according to officials.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Suspends Safe Drug Drop Off Program
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's public safety report for Saugus (Zone 4) for October 9-15, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft Auto, Petty Theft in Saugus
California's attorney general and a coalition of 16 fellow AG's sent a letter to Congressional leadership Monday urging Congress to reject legislation that would force every state to recognize the concealed firearm carry standards of every other state.
California AG Urges Congress to Oppose Concealed-Carry Reciprocity
The Santa Clarita Community College District's Board of Trustees will conduct a joint business meeting with the Associated Student Government at College of the Canyons' Canyon Country Campus on Wednesday, October 25, starting at 3 p.m.
Oct. 25: COC Board of Trustees, Student Government Meeting
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s public safety report for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for October 9-15, 2017.
Crime Blotter: Burglary, Shoplifting in Stevenson Ranch
Here is the complete agenda for the Sulphur Springs Union School District's regular meeting of the Governing Board on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Sulphur Springs School District Governing Board Meeting
College of the Canyons freshman golfer Joanna Roecker was named the Western State Conference Female Athlete of the Week for week six (Oct. 1-7, 2017).
COC Golfer Joanna Roecker Named WSC Female Athlete of the Week
The College of the Canyons Athletics Department hosted a FUNdamentals Football Camp and "Punt, Pass, Kick" Challenge organized by Special Olympics Southern California and the Los Angeles Rams.
COC Athletics Hosts FUNdamentals Football Camp with Special Olympics, L.A. Rams
The Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation arrived at REDCAT with its 2017 festival selections on Saturday.
Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation Lights Up REDCAT
The West Hollywood Aesthetics and Politics Lecture Series (WHAP!), co-hosted by CalArts MA Program in Aesthetics and Politics and the city of West Hollywood, opened its fall 2017 series on Friday, and has two more lectures coming up this month and next.
CalArts Co-Hosts Fall 2017 WHAP! Lecture Series
The four Democrats running to be California’s next governor vowed to resist the Trump administration, protect the state’s sanctuary status, increase affordable housing and boost jobs and education during their first joint forum Sunday.
Gubernatorial Hopefuls Mostly Agree on Universal Health Care
TMU soccer player Brayden Campos is taking a crash course in goalkeeping. Two full games into his new gig, the freshman keeper is settling in just fine.
TMU Men’s Soccer: Campos Growing Into the Job
Early in Saturday’s second half, Sarah Stead chipped a short shot over the Jessup keeper’s head and into the goal, and Master’s hung on for a 1-0 win, its first shutout in two weeks.
TMU Women’s Soccer Team Blanks William Jessup 1-0
The Golden State Athletic Conference released its preseason coaches poll on Saturday morning, and The Master’s University men’s basketball team was projected to finish first.
TMU Men’s Basketball Tops GSAC Preseason Coaches Poll
In cross country, the No. 8-ranked TMU Mustang women finished third and the Mustang men finished fourth at the Warrior Invitational.
Mikesell Leads TMU Cross Country Through Rehearsal
Despite several bright spots in the home match, the Mustangs lost 3-1 by scores of 25-27, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-16.
Mustangs Volleyballers Corralled by Vanguard 3-1
In some sense, Thursday night’s match at Hope International in Fullerton summed up the Mustangs’ season to this point.
Hope International Bests Matadors Volleyball
A car crashed into the bedroom of a home on Wiley Canyon Road Saturday night, but no one was injured or arrested.
Car Makes Unwanted Visit to Newhall Home
A woman has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon in a stabbing incident in Stevenson Ranch Saturday night.
Woman Charged in Alleged Stabbing of Friend in Stevenson Ranch
1888 - 8:15 a.m.: Newhall's luxurious Southern Hotel burns to the ground [story]
Bobbi Jean and her husband Jim Bell, whose OutWest clothing store and popular TV concert series celebrated all things Western and equestrian and helped revitalize Old Town Newhall over the past decade, will soon ride east into the sunrise: They’re moving to New Mexico.
OutWest Owners Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell Ride East Into the Sunrise
1898 - Birth of Mary S. Ruiz, eldest child of Enrique & Rosaria Ruiz of San Francisquito Canyon; all died in 1928 dam disaster [cemetery census]
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated