Young Vikings close out preseason vs. Cañada, look to cause Coast Conference commotion

Ben Baker leads a young Viking squad into Coast Conference action
Ben Baker leads a young Viking squad into Coast Conference action

The West Valley basketball team closes out the 2019-20 preseason schedule Saturday (1/4) against visiting Cañada at 2:00pm. Then, things get real as Gavilan comes to Saratoga to open the Coast-South schedule Jan. 8.

After opening the season 2-4, coach Danny Yoshikawa's young Vikings have gone 6-2. A thrilling 58-57 win at always-tough San Joaquin Delta on Nov. 26 started the run, and a 70-67 win over previously-unbeaten Irvine Valley in the title game of the Monterey Peninsula Classic cemented WVC as a team capable of making some noise in the Coast.

Ben Baker leads the Vikings, who typically start five first-year players, in scoring (20.6 PPG), rebounds (7.6 RPG), assists (2.4 APG) and steals (1.7 SPG). Baker's scoring average is third in the Coast and 10th in the state.

Fellow freshman Adam Afifi also scores in double figures (11.1 PPG) and leads the team in blocks (2.7 BPG) and field goal percentage (59.4%). The post player is just behind Baker in boards, pulling down 5.8 per contest. 

Rounding out the all-freshman starting five are Leland Estacio (7.2 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.2 APG), Michael Steward II (6.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG) and Devon Banks (4.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 1.9 APG). Freshman Sufyan Elkannan is usually the first man off the bench and scores at a 7.7 PPG clip, while grabbing 2.3 rebounds and handing out 1.9 assists per game.

The Coast opener against Gavilan tips at 7:00pm.