Fourteen wins. That is the total number of victories that the Scotts Valley High School varsity boys basketball team had tallied in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play in 10 seasons since the school opened in 2001.
The best SCCAL record on the books for the Falcon boys was established in 2008-09 when the team mustered five wins in their 12-game SCCAL season when they finished 5-7 in league and 9-16 overall.
The varsity team has never made the Central Coast Section playoffs and never finished with a winning record in league or overall.
But a wind of change is in the air in the gym at Scotts Valley High School. Under the guidance of new Head Coach Charles Burks, the boys are currently 3-2 in SCCAL play a respectable 10-7 on the season. Scotts Valley has seven games remaining, and have already defeated three of the remaining teams. If the team defeats the teams it beat in the first half of the SCCAL season, it would finish with a 6-6 record in league and 13-10 overall – the first winning season in school history.
“Coach Burks knows the game and the teams in the area really well,” said senior team captain Jack Pasquini. “He has done a great job so far at getting us all on the same page so we know our strengths and weaknesses.”
Burks came to Scotts Valley from Santa Cruz High where he had coached at nearly every level for the last 15 years.
“I just try to teach these kids the fundamentals of the game of basketball,” Burks said. “Once the boys understand those, the rest of this game just falls into place as long as the kids are willing to work. These kids work very hard and have come to understand that I will be there for them and that they can have a little confidence in themselves. It is a good thing to have some pride in wearing that Scotts Valley basketball uniform.”
The Falcons hopes of making the Central Coast Section playoffs have been but a dream and a whisper to date, but if the team can repeat the second half of the league season in the form of the first half, there is a good chance that they will play the schools first CCS playoff game.
“We know that we can do this,” Pasquini said. “This team gets along really well. As long as we just take it one game at a time we should find that certain level of success that we have been looking for.”
The Falcons next take the court against the Aptos Mariners on Jan.19 after press time and again at Santa Cruz High at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan 25.