The Bruin Post

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The Bruin Post

The Bruin Post

Boys basketball is playoff-bound


The 2022 season ended in heartbreak for the Mountain View Bruins basketball team as they would come just short of making the playoffs. To add insult to injury, this season marked the last for star guard Taylor Hamblin. Fast forward to 2023 with the Bruins stamping their post-season ticket long before the season ended.

That’s right! The Mountain View boys basketball team has clinched their place in the playoff bracket. The official bracket will be revealed Feb 17. While the playoff seeding is unknown one thing is certain, the Bruins have earned their spot among the states best.

The Bruins improved from a 7-16 overall record (5-7 in region play) in 2022 to an impressive 14-9 overall record (6-4 in region play) in 2023. This major improvement led to an exciting regular season for players and fans alike. A regular season with unforgettable highlights and headlines.

The season featured multiple four-game win streaks against fierce opponents, three thrilling overtime wins including one on the road against rival Timpanogos, highlight fastbreak dunks, and senior Connor Fairbanks breaking the record for most steals in a single season in Mountain View history with 68 total steals (an average of three per game.)

Getting to this point in itself is an impressive feat. The players put in countless hours both in and out of practice in order to earn their place. To starting wing Hunter Kaopua, the chance to compete in the playoffs is as important as it gets.

“I think it’s super big because we missed the playoffs last year,” Kaopua said. “Now that we’re in it we have a good chance at making a run and going far.”

Kaopua is an impact player all about winning. Often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s biggest players, Kaopua doesn’t let constant matchup issues stop him. His production is heavily felt on the defensive end with much of his effort going deeper than what the traditional statline would suggest.

“I have a disadvantage of being undersized,” Kaopua said. “But I feel I’ve been able to do well even with the disadvantage of being shorter than most of the guys I guard. I’ve improved a lot on guarding down low.”

Kaopua mentioned the overall height advantage as well. “We’re an undersized team so a lot of teams overlook us or try to take us down but it really doesn’t make that big of a difference. We’re all hustlers and that effort separates us from other teams.”

This exciting regular season hasn’t left the players and staff satisfied. The team’s sights are set on being able to embrace a long playoff run.

Playoff basketball is a different animal. Being able to do damage in the playoffs is a daunting task, one that this group is up for. The Bruins went 3-1 in overtime games and 8-1 in games decided by six points or fewer. This impressive record shows that Mountain View knows how to win brutal battles and ride out challenging games to the bitter end. It also shows the rare ability for players to come up with clutch plays in high pressure situations, a trait not many players and teams possess.

Kaopua understands the work it takes to extend their season long into the playoffs. This playoff field is a challenging one, making this hustler mindset a necessity.

“I think we could make it far this year. We’re going in with the mindset of one game at a time,” Kaopua said. “Focusing on the team that we’re playing and getting the job done so we don’t lose focus, slip up and get eliminated. If we stay focused, we could make a run this year and win the chip. Don’t sleep.”

The excitement of postseason basketball has the entire team buzzing to face their next opponent. A higher level of competition only adds fuel to the fire for this group. Sophomore standout Simeon Suguturaga is more than prepared for a big run.

“Personally my game has fluctuated throughout the season but I’m really on the come up with my shot.” Suguturaga said. “I’m ready to make a run in the playoffs.”

The Bruins’ sights are set for the stars. Along with Kaopua, Suguturaga and the entire locker room agree that this team has spectacular playoff potential.

“We’re really slept on for real,” Suguturaga stated. “We’re overall a really balanced team which can be dangerous. We could potentially win the championship.”

This year’s Bruin basketball team is entering the playoffs hungry to find success. Stay tuned on Feb 12 as the playoff bracket is announced to watch Bruin Basketball fight to achieve their playoff aspirations. As you keep an eye out for their first round matchup and date, be sure to show out and support. The impact from the fans is felt.

“The fans and student section has been so hype at all the games this season and I really appreciate all of them.” Suguturaga said.

The Bruins are determined to leave their print in the tourney. In the words of Hunter Kaopua, “Don’t sleep.”

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    Erlend PetersonMar 4, 2024 at 3:10 PM

    Great article! Congratulations to the team for such a great season! Also, thanks to the author of this article for such a great coverage!