As the top seed in the CIF Southern Section 2AA playoffs, the Thousand Oaks High School Lancers will their first playoff game against Santa Maria High School (9-5 league; 13-14 overall). Santa Maria finished third in their league and must travel two and a half hours to get to this game. The Lancers should be able to handle this game with ease.
Head coach Richard Endres and the Lancers basketball program are more than a little familiar with postseason play. Under Endres, the varsity basketball team was won eight league championships and one Southern Section 2AA championship.
Although the previous teams had more height and strength than this season’s squad, they lacked a quality scorer to depend on in clutch moments. This year’s team has Matt Hauser, a Santa Clara University bound guard.
Four things Thousand Oaks needs to do to win
1. Hit free throws at the end of games: In the Lancers lone league loss to Harvard-Westlake High School, one of their biggest issues was their inability to make free throws.
2. Matt Hauser plays up to his potential: If Hauser doesn’t play like a Division 1 bound player, the Lancers are going to struggle.
3. Extra effort from the front court: The bigs were dominated down low in their loss to Westlake.
4. Support from the bench players: Recently, Amman Asfaw has shown a strength as a lethal shooter; center Luke Romaker will be a critical piece to the defense and front court rotation.