Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 | 11:59 p.m.
The future of Coronado boys basketball flexed their muscles this year to put the rest of the Southeast Division on notice that the Cougars could become the league's team to beat.
Coronado's freshman team went 21-3 with an undefeated 14-0 record in league play while taking second place in the 30-team Chaparral Cowboy Classic tournament.
Coach Luke Jackson said the core group of young athletes should remain strong at the next level because they have already learned to function as a team.
"I think our strongest attribute is that there's no No. 1, all-star player," Jackson said. "All our players contribute. The back-ups stepped up on a regular basis. Every game someone else stepped up and picked up the slack and that's why we were able to win the majority of our games by 20 to 30 points."
The Cougars were led by shooting guard Austin Moiseyev who averaged about 13 points per game while center Christian Chavez pulled down about nine rebounds per game. Jackson also called on guard Sam Staudaher and point guard Conner McCubbin to provide what he called valuable leadership.
"Sam was one of those guys who was able to do anything and everything on the court," Jackson said. "He could play any position and average about 10 points and seven rebounds. Conner was another one. Our game flowed through him and he was a great leader on the court."
While Jackson said he knew he had a talented team at the beginning of the year he had no idea how successful the Cougars would be this year. But Staudaher said he had a feeling this year's squad was special.
"With who we had and what we were able to do in our first few practices I knew we could go far," Staudaher said. "We had a great group on and off the court. We put in the effort to achieve our full potential and it wen in our favor."
McCubbin said the Cougars were able to build team chemistry quickly because, despite pulling players from Del Webb, Bob Miller and Barbara and Hank Greenspun middle schools, the athletes had grown familiar from years of competition at that level.
"It feels good to be undefeated after my first year (of high school basketball)," McCubbin said. "Hopefully we can carry what we accomplished this season into the next and keep playing good Coronado basketball."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.