Although the Carmel boys’ basketball team is having a rough start to the season at a 6 -8 overall record, sophomore forward John Stivers is on pace to have a better season than his 2012-13 MTAL MVP season.
The reigning MVP is having another great year, averaging 15.6 points-per-game through 14 games and leads the team in field goals and free throws. But there is always room for improvement.
“I want to improve my outside skills from the guard position, mostly my ball-handling and my shooting,” Stivers says.
Stivers had a three-game stretch against Salinas, North Salinas and Half Moon Bay in December in which he scored 23, 21 and 21 points, respectively.
The sophomore also scored 23 points against Salinas in a 71-33 blowout loss, while the rest of the team scored only 10 points.
It seems Carmel’s whole offense this year has revolved around the sophomore forward, but whenever junior guard Connor Marden becomes more involved in scoring, Carmel has won. This is shown in the Dec. 21 game against North Salinas when Marden scored 19 and Stivers had 21, and the Padres were able to edge out the Vikings 57-56.
But now with the league games starting, it seems that the supporting cast on Carmel is beginning to emerge, and the pre-season games were merely a wakeup call.
“Our team is already seeing a lot of improvement,” Stivers says. “It’s more just playing together, learning the ins and outs of how we play together. I think every game, every practice we’re getting better.”
Carmel is 4-1 in league games this year, all wins based on all-around team play, rather than the focus primarily on Stivers.
Stivers and the Padres will host King City on Friday at 7 p.m.