Avengers: Sophomores Get Healthy, Then Get Even
March 10, 2014 – Beginning the season with a number of key players sidelined by injuries, the Triton Sophomores got off to a slow, 2-8, start. But then they got healthy, and exacted a small measure of revenge en route to a 13-11 record and falling only a couple of shots short of the league title.
Center Donte Harrington (6-2, 240) came back to basketball from his starting right guard spot on the varsity football team with a knee injury that kept him on the bench until the third week of the season. Guard Chadwell Walker, returning from a broken back, wasn't ready to go until league play had begun. And forward Bennett Secrest battled a knee injury that only allowed him to play sporadically throughout the season.
But the most telling injury was that to starting point guard Dylan Hauser. The Tritons were 0-8 in games in which he was unable to play at least a
half. He strained his lower back when low-bridged during a rebound in the pre-season scrimmage at Aliso Niguel. He was able to play in the season-opening win against Tesoro, but aggravated the injury. Two weeks later, he was able to give the team a half of play in a win against Los Alamitos, but the back was worse. Rest and physical therapy through the holiday season finally got Hauser ready to play in January.
And starting then, the Tritons went on a tear. They won 11 of their final 14 games, which included avenging losses to five of the teams who beat them during their injury-plagued early season. So, in reality, the sophomores looked more like an 18-6 or better squad when close to full strength.
They even came within a couple of shots of at least a share of the league champion-ship,
losing to both co-champions Dana Hills and Trabuco Hills on late hoops. Actually, the Tritons beat Dana Hills in their first league meeting. The second meeting was supposed to be played at San Clemente, but a scheduling conflict forced the game to Dana Hills. Hauser, who ended up averaging just a fraction of an assist short of a double-double was named the team's most valuable player. Also coming on strong in the team's late-season surge was Dillon Waikle, who posted the team's season-high in scoring, 27 points, against Laguna Hills, and was named offensive player of the year. Waikle and forward Aidan Butler were the only players to start every game for the Tritons.
Other award winners for the sophomore team were Andrew Frohner, most improved player, and Brad Ross, Coaches' Award.