BCHS Boys’ Basketball
Johnnie Panfil disposes of his opponent to take the inbound pass and pushes his way up the floor. He skillfully dribbles the ball, crossing over to his left hand when needed to keep prying hands at bay. At the top of the key, Panfil takes a glance to his left, rolls off of a high screen and bounce passes the ball to a cutting Marcus Jarrett in the lane. Jarrett collects the pass and heads toward the basket drawing the defense from all directions. Seeing Kennedy McGrath unmarked under the net, Jarrett finagles a pass past the oncoming opposition into the safe hands of his teammate who neatly lays the ball into the net.
The clean execution of this offensive possession demonstrates the Jags’ commitment to Coach Randy Walker’s system. Each player has a role to play, and when sound decisions and crisp passes are made, clear scoring opportunities arise in abundance. This efficiency, combined with relentless defense, intense conditioning and sound free-throw shooting gives you a snapshot of Coach Walker’s Boulder Creek basketball.
In his fifth year as head coach of the Boulder Creek Jaguars, having amassed a 93-29 record in the past four seasons, Walker has proven that his style is successful. Nowhere was this more evident than the 2009-10 season where the Jags went 28-2 and captured the 5A Division II State Championship.
Each season has brought new challenges, including the move into Division I, and Walker has made the appropriate adjustments necessary to get the most out of his roster. This season has proven no exception. In the absence of a dominant inside offensive focal point or a pure outside scorer, Walker has adopted a high tempo style, his players pushing the ball up the court at every opportunity in an effort to wear down opponents and catch them on their heels.
Senior Johnnie Panfil and sophomore Marcus Lang have been paramount in implementing this style of play. Panfil sets the tone as the primary ball handler, carrying the ball up the court with controlled speed, his eyes patrolling the court for an open teammate or a seam to open up to drive into the lane. Through the first seven games of the season, Panfil averaged a team leading 4.7 assists per game, as well as 8.7 points, and 2.1 steals. He is the ‘general’ and co-captain of this team, and has been outstanding in this role.
Lang pushes the tempo through sheer speed. He can fly down the court to get behind the opposition, feasting on open shots, hitting a team high thirteen three-pointers through the first seven games of the season. On the defensive side of the ball, Lang is called upon to be a lock-down defender on opposing guards, disrupting opposition offensive plays through quickness of both hand and foot. Lang averages 8.0 points per game as well as 1.1 steals.
Two seniors fill the top two scoring and rebounding spots on the team, Ray Vivola and Marcus Jarrett. Vivola, a 6’4” power forward provides the Jags some inside presence. He possesses great footwork for a player of his size, making him difficult to defend, even for a taller opponent. Vivola has consistently led the team in scoring, recording double digits in points each of the first seven games. On three occasions, Vivola recorded double-doubles, snaring 10 or more rebounds against Horizon, Prescott and Sierra Linda. He currently averages 15.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.
Marcus Jarrett is a co-captain and is the second leading scorer and rebounder on the team behind Vivola. Jarrett stands 6’3’’ and plays a variety of roles on the team. He can extend opponents with his outside shooting but is equally effective on the inside, where he has scored the majority of his points. Jarrett has also collected 4.1 rebounds per game and has proven to be reliable from the free throw line, making 11 of 15 early in the season.
Juniors Kennedy McGrath and Jordan Hughes round out the remainder of the Jags major point contributors, McGrath averaging 5.7 points per game and Hughes 5.1. Both players rely more on good positioning and timing than pure size. Both are exemplary free throw shooters, averaging above 75 percent from the line. The duo is encouraged to take the ball toward the basket in an effort to draw opposition fouls.
The Jags spent almost the entire first half of the season on the road, meaning the back half of the schedule is filled with home games. Nine of the last 11 games of the season will be held at the Boulder Creek High School gym, beginning with Westwind Prep January 8. If you have the opportunity, come out and support Coach Walker and this fine program of young men who work hard to achieve success. They are a proven championship team, and one that we should all feel very proud to have as part of our community.