Thursday Nov 29 2012
Beskeen-led Bruins have experience and youthBy: By Mike Ray / Gold Country News Service
You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that Bear River boys basketball coach Duwaine Ganskie will run the bulk of his team’s offense this season through Justin Beskeen.
And, why not?
Beskeen, a talented 6-foot, 6-inch three-year varsity starter is closing in on the 1,000-point level for his varsity career after leading the Bruins in scoring a year ago with an 18.7 points-per-game average.
For starters, Beskeen opened his senior campaign by rattling in 26 points Monday in Bear River’s 64-42 Foundation Game win over Dixon. He recorded another 25 Thursday against Head-Royce in a 64-51 victory for the Bruins (1-0).
“He’s a tremendous athlete,” Ganskie said of his standout, who last week signed a Div. I volleyball National Letter of Intent to play next season at Cal State Northridge. “He’s a tough matchup because he can score inside and outside.”
But while Beskeen, an all-Pioneer Valley League pick a year ago, should be the main cog for the Bruins this season, Ganskie’s main task this preseason is finding the other parts that will be integral to the Bruins’ success this year.
“We have a mix of seniors who received minutes last year and some youth up from the JVs,” said Ganskie, now starting his seventh season at the helm of the Bruins’ boys programs after several stellar years of leading both Bear River and Nevada Union’s girls programs. “We’ll use the preseason to find out who will be doing what.”
Expected to join Beskeen in the Bear River playing rotation are a trio of seniors in 6-8 center Nick Bachus, 6-2 forward Travis Anderson and returning guard Michael Raigoza.
“All three of those players played a lot last season,” said Ganskie, whose team a year ago went 12-15 but got hot near the end of the PVL campaign and advanced to the second round of the Div. IV playoffs.
The Bear River coach also singled out 6-2 senior swing man Tyler Hajewski, junior guards Andrew Harris and Charlie Espinoza, and junior forward Braden Duncan as players who will need to step up this season.
“We’re trying to settle in right now,” Ganskie said. “We’re going to be long but we need to do a lot of the little things like play defense, handle the ball and rebound to be successful.”
Ganskie sees a balanced PVL this season with Foothill an unknown but perhaps just ahead of a balanced field.
“I think on a given night this year any team in our league will be capable of knocking each other off. It should be interesting.”
Bear River will open its official season this weekend in the Wolf Classic at American Canyon near Vallejo. The Bruins will match up in the round robin tournament with Head-Royce, American Canyon and San Rafael.