first_img“We always have to have those others guys step up,” Prestesater said. “I think Ralph is going to get his 15 or 16 points. The other guys, they’re the ones who have to do the job.” The problem for Nevarez and West Covina as it relates to Santa Fe is Chiefs center Ruben Sanchez, who is 6-foot-5 and weights 240 pounds. He could make Prestesater’s projection of around 15 points for Nevarez a hard ceiling, in which case the Bulldogs will have to find other forms of offense to win. Center Ralph Nevarez usually provides the West Covina High School boys basketball team with a big advantage inside against most opponents. But with the Bulldogs set to play a Santa Fe team that can counter Nevarez’s size, coach Gary Prestesater believes his team’s chances to advance in the Division III-A playoffs will come down to its supporting cast. “He’s averaging seven points per game and 10 boards,” Prestesater said of Sanchez. “I think they’re both (Nevarez and Sanchez) about the same. I think Ralph is going to be quicker than him. But their two guards are the ones who score.” Santa Fe won the Del Rio League this season and is 20-7. The Chiefs earned the No. 7 overall seed in the division, while West Covina entered as an at-large team. “I just told the kids today that if you’re scared, you shouldn’t be playing,” Prestesater said. “You’ve got to have confidence in yourself. We just have to go out and play the way we can.” There was good news and bad news for Nogales when pairings were released on Sunday. The Nobles were made the No. 14 seed in Division III-AA, but face a road trip to Banning in Wednesday’s first round. “I guess we get to play, and there’s a lot of teams right now whose season is over,” Nogales coach Ricky Roper said. “I guess we should just be thankful we’re playing.” center_img Nogales has been the area’s toughest team to figure out this season. The Nobles were good enough to post wins over league champions Chino Hills, Diamond Ranch, Serrano and South Hills. But they lost a chance to be league champs themselves when Walnut upset them last Thursday. “We’re a very young team,” Roper said while explaining the Walnut loss and his team’s inconsistency. “There’s two ways you could look at it. You can feel sorry for yourself, or you can look at it as a positive. The time to really be upset is when the season is over.” Long trips in the playoffs are nothing new to Nogales, which made a trip to Indio last season and lost a wild-card game by a point in overtime. Roper said the team will leave plenty early on Wednesday, get a pre-game meal and arrive at the gym hours before tip-off to get acclimated. “I think we’ll be ready,” Roper said. “You do this all the time in summer.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2233 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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