Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, Dec. 6, 2010 | 2:05 a.m.
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.
“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.”