Monte Vista Basketball Team Wins State Championships
The title is the high school's first in any sport.
Monte Vista High School's Varsity basketball team.
As the buzzers echoed throughout Sleep Train Arena in the state’s capital, the Monte Vista Mustangs boy’s basketball team enthusiastically celebrated its Division I state championship against Centennial High School. The 66-55 win marked the school’s first title in any sport, and the first time a Contra Costa County public school has won since 1995.
At the helm for the Mustangs was second-year head coach Nick Jones, a 1998 graduate of Monte Vista High School who continues to have ties in the Danville area. Jones, who was also the Junior Varsity basketball coach from 2003 until 2007, is still trying to digest the accomplishment of making it into the school’s history books in only his second year.
“It’s a big deal, definitely for our school,” Jones says. “It hasn’t quite sunken in yet to be honest; everything is still kind of surreal. We’ve had a lot of help along the way. It’s a community wide championship.”
High school basketball aficionados knew the March 25 matchup would be a battle of defense versus offense, and it was.
“We knew they liked to play a fast-paced game, so it was important for us to control the tempo early on,” Jones says. “Our trademark is defense, so we knew that we had to control and dictate the tempo.”
In the first half, senior guard Trevor John, who has committed to play Division I basketball at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo next year, tied the Division I high school record of knocking down six three-pointers. In the third quarter, the Mustangs continued to demonstrate their defensive dominance on high school basketball’s biggest stage, and the usually high-scoring Centennial Huskies only scored six points in the quarter.
The Mustangs did not lack in experience, as their eight seniors, five of whom were starters, brought an immense amount of leadership and composure that helped get the team to the championship game.
“They are invaluable. They set the tone in the offseason and always came to win,” Jones says. “Our group of guys were always tugging the rope in the same direction. To have everybody with one goal in mind is very important. There were no egos and no agendas, and that was huge.”
Although the Mustangs are saying goodbye to eight of their players, the future of the program is bright. Monte Vista’s Junior Varsity team won its league title, and the freshman team lost only two games this season. Preparation to defend the championship is already materializing, as the boy’s varsity team will take roughly a month off to rest before it begins training again in early May.
“The Future is good,” Jones says. “Our guys are hungry. Everyone is excited.”