After Saturday’s Southern Section 2-AA championship game, Paul McKinley of Whittier Christian High School was quick to hand out the credit.
“We decided to get the ball to Ferg and let him do his thing,” McDaniel said.
“Ferg” is Scott Ferguson, the Heralds’ 6-foot-7 center, who finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots. Ferguson, The Times’ athlete of the week, was a big reason for the Heralds’ 69-67 overtime victory over Banning and the Southern Section 2-AA basketball championship.
“Scott coming around was really important to us getting through the playoffs,” Whittier Christian Coach Bob Brown said. “His level of play has really picked up.”
Which can be attributed to a team meeting that took place two games before the end of Olympic League play.
Ferguson, a senior, was frustrated with his play during the regular season. Although he was scoring in double figures, he wasn’t getting the ball as much as he or Brown would have liked.
A team meeting was called and the problem discussed. It was a chance for everyone to air their feelings.
“Some of the guys said I wasn’t showing enough emotion on the court and that I was standing around in the post,” Ferguson said. “I was frustrated when I didn’t get the ball and would frown a lot. It made it look like a negative situation.
“They were right, but I told them that it was because they weren’t looking inside for me.”
An agreement was reached. Ferguson wouldn’t frown and would work to get open more. In turn, the other players would look inside more.
The Heralds have won six consecutive games since.
“That meeting really relieved some tension,” Brown said. “Everyone began defining their roles on the team and we were a lot more consistent.”
Ferguson scored 21, 18, 20 and 18 points in the Heralds’ four playoff games. Against Banning, he scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and overtime.
“I just don’t stand there and expect the ball to be passed to me,” Ferguson said. “Now, if I make a cut and don’t get the ball, I flash back and keep cutting. It’s made it easier for the guys to get me the ball.”
Which allows Ferguson to do his thing.
Zach Cooper of Canyon defeated Renee Carlos of Clovis, 7-6, to win the 191-pound championship at the state wrestling tournament Saturday.
Chris Mollkoy of Katella defeated Caleb Roope of Yosemite, 7-5, Saturday to win the 154-pound championship at the state wrestling meet.
Joe Pastorello of Katella defeated Bill Hunter of Westlake, 1-0, Saturday to win the 175-pound championship at the state wrestling tournament.
Heath Sims of Woodbridge pinned Dustin Harless of Monte Vista in 1:05 Saturday to win the 138-pound championship at the state wrestling tournament.
Whittier Christian High
Height, Weight, Class: 6-7, 200, Senior
Last Week: Ferguson had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots in a 69-67 overtime victory over Banning in the Southern Section 2-AA championship game.
Season: Ferguson is averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds per game.