Huffman, Fisher key for California's hopes
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It seems as if Tanner Huffman and Brian Fisher have been on the California Trojans' roster forever.
Huffman returns for his fourth year as a starter while Fisher enters his third season in Phil Pergola's lineup, and the senior duo will both join the 1,000-point club this season.
More importantly, their play will dictate how successful the Trojans are this season.
“They bring leadership and know everything we are going to do,” Pergola said of the pair. “They are two coaches on the floor, and they give us everything on both ends of the floor.”
Despite the familiarity that Huffman and Fisher bring, the team also has to bring along several inexperienced players as it looks to make a run to the post-season.
The Trojans went 11-12 a year ago, making the Class AA playoffs in Section 4 and they lost three players to graduation from last year's playoff team.
Huffman averaged 19.3 points and 4.7 assists per game last season and has 849 points for his career while Fisher averaged 17.5 points per game a year ago and has 826 points thus far.
As a freshman, Huffman was an all-section award winner and he was all-district as a sophomore, but missed part of last season with an injury.
Senior forward Evan Patterson enters his second season as a starter while a pair of juniors, Demetri Clements and Austin Wingo, will fill out the starting lineup.
Key reserves will be sophomore guard Malik Jackson, junior guard Jacob Columbus, senior guard Jarid Marinos, and senior forwards Kyle Newman, Mike Mikula, and Bobby Kalbaugh.
Pergola is happy with the size that his team has as Patterson, Wingo, Newman, and Fisher are all listed at least 6-2.
“That's not a bad level of size for the AA level,” Pergola said.
Despite the size, California will feature its customary trapping and pressure defense and will look to run.
“The key to our entire season is chemistry,” Pergola said. “We know that Tanner and Brian will do their thing, but they have to not get frustrated by the mistakes the newer guys make.”
What are Pergola's goals for the team?
“The playoffs are always our expectation and I think we are in the running for a section title,” he said.
The Trojans are in revamped Section 5 AA along with Charleroi, Bentworth, Frazier, Jefferson Morgan and West Greene. Gone from last year's section are perennial playoff teams Jeannette and Greensburg Central Catholic, along with Beth-Center.
With the new look of the section, the Trojans go from contenders for one of the last playoff spots to section title contenders. Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pens’ Dupuis out at least a month with lower-body injury
- Steelers’ Bryant returns from drug suspension, ‘won’t happen again’
- Starkey: Searage, Pirates ultra-confident
- New Steelers kicker Boswell ready for challenge at Heinz
- Husband, wife die in apparent murder-suicide in Baldwin Borough
- Authorities identify McKeesport man whose body was found in Yough River
- Pa. Gov. Wolf pushes ‘broad-based tax increase’ to avoid $2B deficit
- Allegheny Township home destroyed by fire
- Maddon, Hurdle are the models for modern major-league managers
- Penn State THON organizers to review ‘canning’ safety
- Audit: Pennsylvania’s education master plan is 16 years out of date