LA North: Thousand Oaks boys basketball off to 10-0 start

The Thousand Oaks boys basketball team is undefeated after the first 10 games of the season. The team has its share of blowouts, beating Cabrillo by 60 points in the opening round game of the Nordhoff Tournament.

Thousand Oaks has met some challenges as well. The Lancers beat Atascadero by eight points on Dec. 10. In a Marmonte League game against Agoura, Thousand Oaks saw a 13-point halftime lead shrink to three points in the final minute. Thousand Oaks eventually won, 61-56.

“We’ve played some teams that weren’t ready and played some teams that were pretty good,” Thousand Oaks coach Rich Endres said. “You’re always surprised when you go undefeated.”

The five starters for Thousand Oaks are seniors. That leadership and experience has carried the team so far.

Endres said when the season started, he thought Evann Hall was going to be his team leader. But Austin Cagley, Anthony Jacques and Richard Mullaney have added a surprising dose of senior leadership.

Hall is leading the team in scoring with 19 points per game. Cagley has been running the point and averaging 19 points a game as well. He earned most valuable player honors in the Nordhoff Tournament, scoring 20 points in a 61-52 win over Buena in the championship game.

“I thought Evann Hall would maybe be our main guy,” Endres said. “Anthony Jacques has been rebounding and scoring. Mullaney is good for a double-double almost every game. We’re pretty balanced. We’re coming on because of our senior leadership.”

Jacques led Thousand Oaks with 17 points against Agoura. He scored 15 in the first half. Mullaney scored eight of his 15 points in the third quarter. Thousand Oaks had to hold off a late-surge by Agoura in the fourth quarter, though, to win its 10th game of the season.

Endres said Mullaney is still getting his “basketball legs.” Mullaney, who also played on the Thousand Oaks football team and is headed to Oregon State on a football scholarship, broke the CIF Southern Section record for receptions with 120. He also set a number of school records for receiving and touchdowns.

The Thousand Oaks basketball team will be taking its undefeated record to the Desert Heat Invitational at Cathedral City High School on Dec. 29. The first game for Thousand Oaks will be against Perris.