Cordova Basketball Off to Fast Start

Rancho Cordova, CA  |  By Mike Bush
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Cordova point guard shoots over a Vista del Lago player in the Lancers' Foundation Game on Nov. 27th. Photo by Rick Sloan

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Cordova basketball players Caleb Clark (21) and LeAndre Ward (30) try to get the ball away from a Vista del Lago player in the Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Game on Nov. 27th.

RANCHO CORDOVA, CA (MPG) – Six games in six days.

That is how the Cordova High School boys basketball team started its season last week that has led to a 3-2 start.

“Not a bad start,” said Cordova head coach Fletcher Johnson.

All part of the Lancers’ pre-season schedule in preparing for Sierra Valley Conference that begins next month.

This is also Cordova’s final season in the SVC, as it will be one of six schools that are part of the new Greater Sacramento League, which was created through the Sac-Joaquin Section’s league realignment earlier this year. The new league goes into place next summer for the 2018-22 cycle.

Last winter, Cordova posted an 8-2 record that included a second place finish. Cordova finished with an overall record of 15-12 that included a Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoff berth.

Six Lancers, all seniors, returning this season for Johnson are wing players Tyreke Tate and Caleb Clark, both of whom stand at 6-foot and 5’11 respectively. Joining them is point guard Joe Danielyan, wing player DeAndre Ward, one of the tallest players on the team at 6’3 and guard Dylan Sweis.

Joining the team but not ready to play is point guard Calvin Augusta. A wide receiver and defensive back on the Cordova football team that won a share of the SVC title with El Dorado and a playoff berth last month, Augusta is still recovering from a bone broken near his knee suffered in a non-league game three months ago. Johnson is hoping to have Augusta on the floor after the Christmas break.

The rest of the Lancers’ 11-player roster are five juniors; wings Kijon Allen and Sam Danielyan, guards Gabreen Acuna and Raymond Fite and point guard Johnele Sanders, both of whom started at quarterback and running back on the Cordova football team that won the SVC title and playoff berth.

The Lancers are looking to continue to have a strong start. That is important for Cordova, which lost most of its starters to graduation last spring.

“Some of these guys didn’t play last year,” Johnson said.

In a “short amount of time” Johnson said, the Lancers will have four games in the McDonald’s Classic that is being played at Weston Ranch and Edison, both in Stockton this week. On Tuesday, Cordova played at Rocklin. By the time pre-season is done, Cordova is scheduled to have played 17 pre-season games.

“We’re playing a lot of games in consecutive days,” Johnson said. “That will get us in shape and prepare us for league.”

Liberty Ranch, which returns the bulk of its starters from last year’s championship squad, is expected to be the team to be beat, Johnson said. Rosemont and El Dorado should also be tough, along with Union Mine and Galt.

On Dec. 2nd, Cordova beat Foothill 73-57 for seventh place at the Jack Scott Tournament at Rio Americano High. The day prior, El Camino slipped past the Lancers 70-56, and on Nov. 30th on the first day of the tournament, Del Campo posted an 84-50 victory. Cordova picked up its first win of the season on Nov. 28th against Wood of Vacaville with a 59-52 victory. On Nov. 29th at Mira Loma, the Lancers came away with a 71-52 win.

Cordova point guard shoots over a Vista del Lago player in the LancersCordova basketball players Caleb Clark (21) and LeAndre Ward (30) try to get the ball away from a Vista del Lago player in the Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Game on Nov. 27th. Cordova basketball players Caleb Clark (21) and LeAndre Ward (30) try to get the ball away from a Vista del Lago player in the Sac-Joaquin Section Foundation Game on Nov. 27th. Photo by Rick Sloan