J.J. Prince, in his seventh season as basketball coach at Calabasas Viewpoint (29-6), has the team one win away from playing for a state Division IV championship.
It's quite a jump for a program that only a couple years ago was a member of the Liberty League. Now it competes against the likes of Sierra Canyon, Windward and Campbell Hall and has been more than holding its own.
Certainly helping the rise of the basketball program has been Harvard-bound point guard Christian Juzang.
But shooting guard Sayo Denloye and versatile forward Aram Arslanian also have had huge seasons. And 6-foot-3 junior Michael Okparaocha also has made key contributions.
Prince has gotten the Patriots to play as a team. That's why they will be extremely tough to beat on Saturday in a 4 p.m. Southern California Regional final against Harvard-Westlake at Colony. They beat Harvard-Westlake, 73-55, back on Nov. 28.
No one thinks this game will be anything like that tournament game of the Calabasas tournament. But Viewpoint has shown it belongs with the best in Division IV this season.
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