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October 21, 2014

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HS BASKETBALL:

Cimarron-Memorial has talent to compete despite graduation losses

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Cimarron Memorial basketball players, from left, Rico Garrett, Erik Brewer and Christian Brown.

Steve Boyack

Cimarron-Memorial High boys coach Steve Boyack talks about the upcoming season.

Losing one of the best players in school history is usually a good excuse to endure a rebuilding season.

That’s not the mindset this year at Cimarron-Memorial. Despite the graduation of Kevin Olekaibe, who led the state with 36 points per game and is starting as a freshman at Fresno State, the Spartans feel their ready to make another run in the playoffs.

“We’ve looked good so far in our scrimmages,” Cimarron coach Steve Boyack said. “We’re excited with the height we have, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a team this tall.”

Cimarron hopes to rely on its defensive pressure to repeat last season’s success when the Spartans made the Sunset Region semifinals. Boyack described the team’s leader, senior guard Christian Brown, as a defensive stopper.

Offensively, the Spartans will often look inside to Erik Brewer and Deijon Spillers for easy buckets.

“Erik should be one of our leading scorers,” Boyack said. “Deijon is a transfer from Southern California and he has a soft touch around the basket.”

Cimarron also has a formidable weapon on the wing in 6-foot-3 junior Rico Garrett. Boyack isn’t sure who will take the scoring load Olekaibe left behind, but Garrett is as good a guess as any.

“Our past teams we’ve always had one standout scorer,” Boyack said. “This year we’re a lot more balanced. It’s going to be tough to replace Kevin in all aspects. He did everything, but we’re going to make it work.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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