High schools don’t hang banners for winning summer league. Still, the Los Altos High boys basketball team feels pretty good about its success this summer.
The Eagles won their 14-team summer league by beating Los Gatos in the title game last month at Mountain View High.
“I don’t want to put too much stock into summer league,” coach Trevor Naas said, “but it’s nice to see the progress.”
After a slow start, the Eagles got into a groove and finished the two-month season on an eight-game winning streak.
“We played a lot better down the stretch,” senior Matt Eberle said. “I’m happy with how we played. I think it will help us establish how we want to win next season.”
Los Altos didn’t do a whole lot of winning last season. The Eagles placed fifth in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division with a 4-8 record and finished 13-13 overall after getting bounced from the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs in the second round.
One of the Eagles’ biggest wins of the season came last January in a non-league game at rival Mountain View, the eventual CCS Division II champ.
The teams also faced off in the quarterfinals of the summer league playoffs, a grind-it-out game Los Altos won 32-22 in mid-July.
“Defense really helped us win that game,” Eberle said.
The Eagles returned to Mountain View to face Wilcox in the semifinals and later that day defeated Los Gatos 48-38 in the title game.
“We didn’t have our full team,” Eberle said, “but our younger guys stepped up to help us win that game.”
Players like Eric Jones, a speedy sophomore who stepped in at point guard for third-year starter Nolan Brennan.
“He did a good job in his first varsity experience,” Naas said. “He’s a tough player and a good leader.”
Another varsity newcomer, Zach Espiritu, played a prominent role as well. The senior, who didn’t play last season, started at shooting guard this summer.
“He played well for us,” Naas said. “He was a nice surprise. He fit in well.”
Eberle also praised Jones and Espiritu, as well as forward Jake Shab, who played sparingly as a junior last season.
“He took on a bigger role this summer and played well,” the guard/forward said.
But perhaps no Eagle played better than Eberle – particularly in July.
“Matt had a really good end to the summer,” said Naas, in his second year as coach. “His game developed a lot. It’s the best I’ve seen him play.”
Eberle hopes to have a strong senior season and continue playing basketball in college. He said approximately 20 NCAA Division III schools have shown interest in him.