STHS grad makes Case for extended collegiate career
It hasn’t been a case of mistaken ability, nor a case of adjusting to competition at the next level.
Freshman Alan Case, a 1998 South Tahoe High grad, hasn’t delayed in stating his collegiate hardwood case for the Moorpark Raiders men’s basketball team. The slashing guard averaged 14.3 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals per game as the freshman-laden Raiders narrowly missed the 64-team California junior college state tournament with a 12-16 record.
“I’m pretty satisfied with my season. My goal at the beginning of the season was to start and as the season went on my goals got higher,” Case said. “It was a good learning experience. When you come in as a freshman you don’t know what to expect.”
Besides their sub.-500 overall record, the Raiders were 3-5 and fourth in the Western States Conference. Accustomed to winning throughout his prolific middle and high school basketball careers, Case agonized as Moorpark’s season went south.
“Coming from Tahoe, I’m not used to losing. I’ve never been on a losing team. A loss has got to burn for a while or else there’s no reason to play,” Case said.
Case took the defeats harder than his teammates – a quality that endeared him to coach Remy McCarthy.
“He’s fiercely competitive. There were a couple of time out there he wasn’t happy about losing and a player would say, “Coach, you need to talk to Al, he’s really mad.’ We need more guys like that, who will put their life on the line before losing,” McCarthy said.
Case opened the season, performing as if the conference scoring championship was within his touch. But the 6-foot-4 guard dropped from third to ninth in scoring as it became more difficult for him to finish his drives to the basket.
“I started off real hot, but when teams started keying on me, then other players started stepping up and I wasn’t scoring as much as I was earlier,” Case said.
McCarthy, however, believes Case can consistently produce big numbers with a commitment to the weight room.
“Al is a complete player and we’ve been real happy with him, but the thing he needs to concentrate on is getting stronger. The shots that he was finishing inside earlier in the season weren’t going in toward the end. With a stronger upper body he’ll be able to score when he’s getting bumped,” McCarthy said.
While the physical play inside the box frustrated Case at times, the 1997-98 Northern Nevada League MVP wasn’t caught off guard by the quickness of opposing guards.
“It was pretty challenging playing against those guys, but at Tahoe you learn to play defense, anyway, so it wasn’t an adjustment to learn how to play defense,” Case said.
But Case never got accustomed to the sparse attendance, which ranged from 50 to 100 spectators.
“Nobody came to our games. You had to get self-motivated instead of the crowd working you up,” Case said.
His season highlights included a 34-point barrage against Victor Valley and a game-tying 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining against Hancock.
Moorpark’s only second-year player was a reserve, so the Raiders are naturally excited about next season.
“We’re looking good for next year. Now that we’ve all played a year I’m sure we’ll be a better team and hopefully we’ll be able to contend for the league championship next year,” Case said.
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