Basketball players

PV Basketball Players Who Saw 2018 Championship First-Hand Lead Team to Golden 1 – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — Just four years ago, the Pleasant Valley men’s basketball team was where they are today — one win after being named CIF Division III state champions.

In the 2018 season, the Pleasant Valley Boys won the NorCal Regional Championship for the first time in school history. The girls won their first state title in 1985 and competed in their second state title match. These two teams helped pave the way for this year’s team, which will face Venice High School on Friday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

The 2021-22 squad includes several players who watched from the sidelines as their siblings attempted to make school history.

Point guard Ned Joyce watched his sister Makenna Joyce and the rest of her teammates win the Regional Championship at Varley Gym in Chico, before losing in the D-II State Championship to Redondo Union of Redondo Beach.

Joyce sat alongside current teammates Luke Kremer and Hayden Rick for the girls’ and boys’ matches, while Kremer’s brother Kevin Kremer and Rock’s brother Jake Rick competed in the U.S. State Championship. boys D-III. The 2017-18 men’s team, which finished 32-2, defeated Notre Dame of Riverside 70-65 to win the first state title for the Pleasant Valley men’s basketball program.

  • Kevin Kremer dribbles past Notre Dame’s Anthony Holland during the CAF Division III State Championship on March 24, 2018, at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. PV won 70-65 and Kremer went for 28 points and 13 rebounds in his final high school game. (File Carin Dorghalli/Enterprise-Record)

  • Pleasant Valley forward Jake Rick shoots at Pierce Sterling, 11, of Notre Dame, and Anton Mozga, 1, as Treyson Keating, 34, looks to rebound in the CIF State Championship game on 24 March 2018 at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA. (File Carin Dorghalli/Enterprise-Record)

  • Sirena Tuitele and Makenna Joyce of Pleasant Valley High embrace in celebration of their NorCal Regional Final victory over Valley Christian High to advance to the State Championship game, on March 17, 2018 at Varley Gym in Chico, California. Joyce’s brother, Ned Joyce, and his teammates will play Friday for the CIF D-III State Championship game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. (File Carin Dorghalli/Enterprise-Record)

“It definitely gives us confidence, but at the same time it gives us that chip on the shoulder like we can do it too,” said Ned Joyce. “I was in eighth grade when it happened. I sat pitchside for both games. For me to come here five years later is like a chip on my shoulder like we have to win this thing now.

Everyone on this year’s squad learned from their predecessors while being part of the journey from the sidelines or from the stands.

Vikings head coach Tim Keating said the trip taught him to prepare as a staff game, make adjustments and preach confidence in his team every game.

“Stick to your basics,” Keating said. “Everything is possible.”

“It was a great race,” he added.

Whittaker said the 2017-18 team showed that to qualify for the state championship game, obviously talent is needed, luck has to be on your side, “but you really have to be able to play hard. “

Whittaker said it was a commonality between this year’s team and the team four years prior.

Luke Kremer, who spoke with Kevin ahead of the final three regional playoff games, two of which Kevin Kremer was able to attend, said his older brother’s most important message was not to be nervous but rather to be excited.

“It’s an opportunity, it’s not something to be feared. If you change that mindset, it’s a lot more fun,” said Luke Kremer.

In the second round of the NorCal Regional Tournament as well as in the semi-finals, Kevin Kremer sat behind the PV bench and helped act as another coach for his brother and his teammates when times got tense.

“You have to have someone step in and be able to pull the team together and get everybody back on their feet when things don’t go your way,” Kevin Kremer told younger brother Jake during the semis. regional when PV beat Lincoln in over time.

Hayden Rick’s brother Jake told him to have fun and enjoy it, reminding him that this opportunity would only come once in a lifetime.

For Joyce, her sister Makenna reminded her how important team culture is in a race like this and how important relationships off the field with teammates are for success on the field. Joyce’s two sisters, Makenna and Kayla, have helped keep him calm in some really big moments, which can be tough on their fiercely competitive brother Ned.

The strong team culture is a common thread between the three teams that had the chance to bring a state championship back to Pleasant Valley, in addition to the intense defense that the three teams brought to the ground starting with their strong communication. .

Luke Kremer said there are a lot of people who can play offense in basketball, but what sets a team apart is their ability to play defense. The 2018-19 squad often used a full-court press for defense, but this year’s team’s half-court defense excels at limiting easy opportunities. He said there are different styles, but defense is always key.

“Coming into this really competitive setting every day can be very mentally draining, so it’s incredibly important to make sure we keep the relationships off the pitch,” said Makenna Joyce. “I’ve known Luke Kremer all my life and it’s been really cute to watch them grow up and hang around outside of basketball and have friendships with Noah (Thomas) and Chase (Mitchell). Not just fake relationships just on the field, but they’ve been best friends since they were kids.

  • Chase Mitchell, 24, shoots Bullard’s Lejuan Watts Tuesday, March 8, 2022, during the CIF Regional Championship at Varley Gym in Chico, Calif. (Dan Reidel/Enterprise-Record)

  • Pleasant Valley senior Noah Thomas, 2, cuts a piece of the net as teammates watch Tuesday, March 8, 2022 after the Vikings won the CIF North Regional Championship at Varley Gym in Chico, Calif. (Dan Reidel/Enterprise-Record)

Kevin Kremer, who now plays college basketball at Chaminade University in Hawaii, said college coaches held team bonding events to build team chemistry, but in high school it came naturally. . Growing up watching many of this year’s team compete with or against his brother Luke, he also sees similarities.

Ned Joyce said he had been playing basketball with Luke Kremer and Chase Mitchell since third or fourth grade and had known several of his teammates from kindergarten.

For the second Hayden Rick, who grew up in Quincy, he has only known his teammates for a season or two. Although many members are lifelong friends, the team has become brothers on and off the pitch.

“I think the coolest thing to see was that they had six seniors on the teams and the six seniors were friends. They all played as one unit, so it’s kind of a similarity between this team and our team,” said Luke Kremer. “We are really close on and off the pitch; friends for life. Just when we’re on the pitch, we have a lot more chemistry. It’s really fun to play with them.

Like many others who saw their siblings play in Sacramento four years prior, Rick was inspired by seeing his brother play at the Golden 1 Center in 2018 to come to Pleasant Valley and play for the Vikings. Rick said that since he said his brother won the state championship, he imagined himself playing in that game when he got the chance.

Whittaker, whose son Colton was part of the 2017-18 team, said it’s hugely important for the leaders of this year’s team to see the success of the 2017-18 team of the year. He said it set a vision and aspirations for them, and showed young players what was possible.

Makenna Joyce, now a volleyball player at Saint Mary’s College in California, called it surreal to watch her brother prepare to compete in the same state championship game she and her teammates played four years earlier.

Makenna Joyce said it was something his brother Ned had been talking about since his sophomore year, saying his team would qualify for the state championship his senior year with the group of guys he grew up with. During pre-season and throughout the season, he told his family: “We are going to get there. I’m so excited for the playoffs.

“To say it’s one thing, but to actually do it is so insane,” said Makenna Joyce. “He looked so far beyond those goals, like we were winning a state championship. Just the fact that they got there and they have a chance to do it is so crazy, and I think it just goes to show what their focus has been all season. I think they stay in the moment, but that underlying goal is definitely something we have something bigger to prove.

The 2021-22 team will have its chance to win the second national basketball title in school history at 4 p.m. Friday. This will be the Vikings’ second state title appearance in the final three that have been played. In the 2019-20 season, the regional playoffs were held, but the last match was canceled due to the pandemic. In 2020–21, there was no state tournament due to ongoing precautions with the pandemic.

Tickets for Friday’s game can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com by visiting https://bit.ly/3KCpSwN. Tickets are $16 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors. Proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or negative test within 48 hours of arrival is required.

Keating, Whittaker and the rest of PV’s coaching staff said their team was ready.

“They’re willing to sacrifice almost anything to win this game,” Whittaker said. “Collectively, their voices are the ones we hear in our locker room with our players talking about the importance of making the ultimate sacrifice. Do whatever the team needs to keep chasing this game and winning games, so watching this experience in 2018 has been huge. It’s truly remarkable what this team has accomplished this year.