Manogue Boys Basketball Has Bright Future Ahead of it with New Coach

Sebastian DeRosier, Staff Writer

The Bishop Manogue boys basketball team had an offseason for the ages, acquiring former NBA player Luke Babbitt as the head coach. The spot opened up after legendary head coach Bill Ballinger stepped down the prior season. In six seasons as the leader of the pack, Bill Ballinger led his teams to a 118-55 overall record and a stunning 70-15 record in league ball, along with two regional championships. Babbitt also brought in his staff, which consisted of locals Brian Vaka, Brice Cook, and Doug Cordova. The team consisted of six seniors and four juniors, so the new staff had some experience to work with on the roster.

It took some time for the players and coaches to adapt to playing with each other, as the team got off to a rocky 5-10 start. Heading into their 16th game of the season against Damonte Ranch high school, the team got a huge game from Senior guard Isaiah Garcia, who gave them 23 points in Damonte’s own gym. This win was the turning point for the team, as the Miners rattled off 12 wins in their next 14 games heading into the playoffs. The Miners ended as the 3rd seed in the region, and played host to a first round playoff game.

Bishop Manogue took care of business at home against the McQueen Lancers, as a balanced scoring effort helped the Miners in a convincing 74-42 win heading into their next round matchup at the rivaling Reno Huskies. The Huskies were 2-0 against the Miners in the regular season, winning each matchup by a mere two points. The hostile atmosphere didn’t seem to bother Senior guard Jordan Morency though, as he put up 28 points in the Huskies’ house, ending his performance with a bow to the Reno student section. While 28 points is nothing to sneeze at, it wasn’t just a one man show. Senior forwards Logan Howren and Carson Jensen both added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Bishop Manogue kept this momentum rolling into the regional championship game against Douglas, as they jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back.

The Miners held a 19-point lead at halftime thanks to great efforts from the starters. They took care of business and celebrated their Regional Championship victory with the student body. Their hot streak came to an end, as they fell to Liberty High School in the State semifinals 72-51.

While the team is losing 6 seniors, there is still a bright future ahead. Freshman guard James Williams, who had started alongside four seniors for the majority of the season, is definitely the player to keep an eye on for the next three years of his high school career. Luke Babbitt and his crew are just getting started at Bishop Manogue, and it will be a treat to see where they can take the team during his tenure.