The Capuchino High School boys’ basketball program is in its second year in the Peninsula Athletic League’s Lake Division and it has no intention of returning for a third season next year.
The way the Mustangs are playing lately, they’ve all but punched their ticket up into the Ocean
Division next season.
“Last year, we took a big step towards winning games,” Capuchino coach Doug Fountain said this week as he watched his team practice. “This year, we’re learning how to win consistently.”
At 6-1 in PAL Lake play and needing only a win over last-place Oceana in their season finale, which tipped off late Wednesday, the Mustangs are poised to achieve another preseason goal.
“We wanted to win our tournaments and we won two of the three we played in,” Fountain said. “We’re well on our way to winning our division and next we want to win the PAL Tournament.”
Fountain added that the team has added motivation after a 4-4 record and a third-place finish in the PAL Lake, along with a four-game losing streak, closed out last year’s campaign.
“They want to represent that they are better than that,” Fountain said. “They want to show they don’t belong in the Lake Division.”
The Mustangs have been forced to play and practice at Peninsula High this year as their gym at Capuchino is being renovated, with construction set to finish in May. But Fountain credits being away from the home gym as actually helping his team this year.
“Being up here, there’s not a lot of distractions with other sports teams,” Fountain said. “We don’t have people knocking on the door to get in. They get up here and they are focused on basketball.”
Capuchino has an experienced team of six seniors, eight juniors and just one sophomore, led by senior guard Evan Baker. A three-year starter, and one of three team captains, Baker is averaging a triple double in points, assists and steals in league play this season. He is also leading the team in scoring for the year at 13.7 points per game.
“He’s our leader out there,” Fountain said.
Junior Daniel Afeaki (6-foot-7) and senior Mark Luttrell (6-6) — who is coming off of ACL surgery last summer — anchor the Mustangs’ defense and Fountain credited both for stepping up their games this season.
“Daniel’s got good moves around the post and he’s learned when you’re 6-7, you get double and triple teamed,” Fountain said. “He’s learned to play through it. Mark’s really taken some of the load off of Daniel. He’s our top defensive player.”
Fountain is looking for his team to make a deep run into the postseason and serve notice to the Ocean Division next year.
“We’re not your typical lower division team,” Fountain said.