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Delhi chasing SAL title
Delhi boys 2
The Delhi High Hawks finished last year with a league record of 8-4 in the Southern Athletic League and are coming into the new year with a new head coach in Brian de la Porte. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

When Brian de la Porte took over as the head coach of the Delhi High varsity boys basketball team in early September, he made one goal—to win the school’s first league title.

Although Mariposa is the favorite to clinch the Southern Athletic League once again, Delhi comes off a second place season just a year ago after going 8-4, behind Mariposa's 12-0 record and is eager to show they have improved.

“Our motto is let’s be the first team in school history to win a league title,” said de la Porte. “Our goal is to play our best ball by January and win a league title and that is the sole purpose as a team, school and community and that is the objective right there.”

With the help of returning standouts Mario Moran and Chance Browning, coach de la Porte has a solid core to compliment the incoming varsity players for his first year with a new scheme.

“I bring a new system so it will take some time, I've been trying to tell my guys about being consistent, it's what great players do,” said de la Porte. “They don't just do it here and there, they do it for all possessions and that is how you win games.”

Along with playing man-to-man defense, de la Porte brings forth an offensive style that attacks the rim for high percentage shots.

It is the two and three out offense which helps get the ball inside the paint.

“We don't live and die with the three pointer,” he said. “We don't run the dribble drive, we run more of a motion to run set plays off of and that is what we do pretty much on both ends and play some zone but not too much.”

Making this a priority is what it will take for the Hawks to compete for an SAL title.

“Once the kids take that approach and make it a priority to defend every possession or execute every offensive possession, then we will see a good team and it will take some time,” said de la Porte.

Hopefully the Hawks can adjust to the changes quicker rather than later but the help of David Gonzalez and Arnold Perez will certainly up their chances as well.

Gonzalez at 6-foot-1 is a threat inside the paint as well as from three-point range, and Perez looks to be the starting point guard as a junior.

Adrian Valladares is one of the seniors on the team and has proved to be one of the most consistent for the Hawks.

“He just does everything right...he is consistent like a machine,” de la Porte said of Valladares.

 “We have a long ways to go but we have the guys that can take us there, we just have to go out and do it.”

Delhi's first game will be at home against Calaveras at 6 p.m. Dec. 2.