Boys’ basketball: Q&A with Bort Escoto

first_imgIn his 14th year as coach at Sylmar, Escoto has arguably one of his best teams ever heading into City Section postseason play. Guy Landry is an emerging force, Victor Rudd is developing into a star, Antonio Biglow is a heady floor leader, and Dwight Jones and Tyler Honeycutt have proven reliable from the perimeter, all while standout Mat Hankins has been out dealing with numerous injuries for the majority of the season. The Spartans (16-9) are one of the few area teams with a chance to make some noise in the Championship playoffs. It won’t be easy, though. Sylmar received the ninth seed amid some minor controversy and now must face one of the more difficult routes to the title game, beginning with Thursday’s first round game at home against perennial power Crenshaw (17-7). DN: Talk to me about your team’s chances. Crenshaw first, and if you manage to win, top-seeded Fairfax is going to be waiting for you guys in the second round. Do you feel like the City Section selection committee gave you guys a fair shot? BE: We got screwed. I told my assistant Charles White beforehand that we were going to get cheated. We were disappointed and angry when we learned where we ended up in the bracket. BE: Of course. How could you not? I’d be the answer to a pretty good trivia question if we win. Seriously, I’ve always admired Willie. I’ve patterned my program after his. I’d be rooting for him to win a title in his final year if we weren’t playing his team in the first round. DN: So the plan is, take out Willie and company, upset Fairfax and go on to win the championship at the L.A. Sports Arena on March 3rd … Are you going to guarantee that this group of yours is going to bring back a title to the San Fernando Valley? BE: I wouldn’t go that far. I can tell you this, we’re not the same team we were at the beginning of the season. We have all the pieces in place. We have the bodies. We have the horses and they’re ready to run. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img DN: What type of feedback have you gotten from your players, and are they overly discouraged? BE: No. Not really. I told them that there’s always going to be some bias when it comes to these things, so they were prepared. DN: Now what? Where do you go from here and how do you motivate the kids for the big-time challenge ahead? BE: We’re not going to cry about the situation. We’re men. We don’t care about being snubbed anymore. It is what it is. This is a hungry group, ready to show everyone what we’re about. Crenshaw is always good, so we can’t afford to look past them. And in order to win the City title, you have to beat Fairfax at some point. DN: Let’s talk a little more about Crenshaw, specifically coach Willie West. He’s a legend and plans on retiring after 39 years as the Cougars’ coach. Have you given much thought about his illustrious career – which includes eight Div. I state titles, 16 City Section championships since 1980 and more than 800 wins – ending with a loss in your gym? last_img read more

Man United plotting move for £50m wonderkid, but he prefers Liverpool

first_imgManchester United are plotting a £50 million move for Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon, but the player reportedly would prefer a move to Liverpool.According to The Sun, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Chelsea are all tracking the burgeoning star, but it is United who will make a £50 million move for him this summer.The 18-year-old enjoyed an incredible season as he helped the Cottagers back to the Premier League and the club have maintained he is not for sale.However, should a move materialise, it seems as though Manchester United would be in pole position.According to the Sunday Express, Sessegnon feels an incredible affiliation to Fulham having spent his entire career there.But he did grow up supporting Liverpool as a boy and would be interested to move to Jurgen Klopp’s side if a bid came in.The winger (who can also play at left-back) was a key member of Slavisa Jokanovic’s side last season – scoring 16 goals and recording seven assists.He subsequently won the Championship Player of the Season and the Young Player of the Season awards at the ceremony back in April. 1 The two Premier League giants could be locked in a transfer battle for the wonderkid last_img read more