Nogales won its first boys basketball championship in school history by defeating Ventura’s Foothill Technology 78-65 in the CIF Southern Section Division 5AA championship at Azusa Pacific University.
It was the Nobles’ first appearance in a title game in 23 years after a loss to Mater Dei in the 1995 Division 1AA title game, and the Nobles didn’t waste its second opportunity.
Nogales’ Dale Batac nailed 5 of 9 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 30 points, and the Nobles built a big lead and held on.
For his efforts in leading the Nogales to the title, Coach Sameer Bhatt has been named the San Gabriel Valley Tribune’s 2017-18 boys basketball coach of the year.
“We have preached to our boys that there are only three things which they can control in each moment in their lives: attitude, effort and trust,” Bhatt said. “With a positive attitude comes a perfect effort, and with trust for the process, any dream can become a reality. It is an absolutely amazing feeling for our team to take ownership of this ideal and come away as CIF champions. It takes great players to accomplish what we did this past season, and I am just blessed to have been a part of this journey. Tradition begins when you say it does, and I believe we just made the boldest of statements.”
Nogales also won a game in the Division 5 state playoffs before losing in the second round, finishing the season 26-8.
“u200bI am truly honored and humbled to be named the San Gabriel Valley Area Coach of the Year,” Bhatt said. “It is a testament to the contributions of my coaching staff, whom without I would not have been able to accomplish recent milestones. I am thankful to have such high-character student-athletes who have shown a willingness to remain resilient — through our tougher seasons in the past, to now. There definitely is not any recognition for myself without acknowledging that.”