Boys Basketball: Anzar seniors lead by example

Anzar High senior Josiah Martinez had 17 points in a Feb. 1 game against Gilroy.

As the only two seniors on the Anzar High boys basketball team, Jarret DeAmaral and Josiah Martinez knew they would have to lead a young squad by example.
And that’s exactly what the two players have done. In a 56-53 loss to Gilroy on Feb. 1, Martinez scored 17 points and DeAmaral had another superb rebounding game as the Hawks fell just short despite facing big deficits most of the way.
Anzar trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter only to rally and make things suspenseful at the end.
“It was cool to have a good game in an atmosphere like that,” Martinez said. “Gilroy had a band there and a lot of people, and it’s nice to do well in those situations.”
Anzar entered the week with a 2-3 record in the Coastal Athletic League. Last year the Hawks went 6-3 in league play, qualifying for the section playoffs. Anzar graduated several key players, so it’s been up to DeAmaral and Martinez to carry the load.
Martinez had a career-high 23 points against Trinity Christian two years ago, and he might have had another breakthrough against Gilroy.
“I wasn’t super amped before the game,” said Martinez, a 5-foot-11, 155-pound forward. “I didn’t force anything, and I just let things happen. Things came naturally in the flow of the game.”
DeAmaral has been the team’s rock for the last three years. The 6-3 post is very active in the paint, grabbing rebounds, playing tough interior defense and scoring on putbacks. DeAmaral said he’s averaging a double-double this season. Even though his scoring is down, DeAmaral is playing at a higher level after spending most of last summer playing for a club/high school team in New Zealand.
The club/high school team also played in a men’s league against bigger and more experienced players, making for quite a challenge.
“We got beat up a lot, but it didn’t matter because we knew we were getting better,” he said. “I got a little more athletic from the experience, and I also recognize certain things where I can distribute the ball better.”
DeAmaral and Martinez’s friendship has grown in the three years they’ve played together.
“We’ve always played well together,” Martinez said. “We’ve become closer friends on and off the court.”
While DeAmaral scores most of his points from outside jumpers, putbacks and on the fast break, Martinez gets to the basket off dribble penetration.
“Josiah has become a really aggressive and strong driver to the rim, which is what we need because I’m more of an outside shooter,” DeAmaral said. “He keeps defenses on their heels.”
Last week DeAmaral started attending baseball practice—he’s a pitcher—meaning by the time basketball season ends DeAmaral will have done several double-doubles—as in attending baseball practice from 3 to 5 p.m. and basketball practice or a game from 5 to 7 p.m.
Does DeAmaral take pride in the fact that he’s pulling off back-to-back practices daily? Well, sort of.
“It’s more like I’m tired when I get home and ready to go to sleep,” he said. “I’m getting lot stiffer during basketball practice and have to ice (muscles) a lot more because of pitching.”
DeAmaral’s future goals include choosing a career in physical therapy or athletic training. DeAmaral plans on playing club basketball at a state school, with the hope of one day being able to make the university team as a walk-on. Martinez, who also plays on Anzar’s golf team, has his plans laid out as well. Martinez will attend Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, which is just outside of Dallas. A devout Christian and son of a pastor, Martinez plans on getting a degree in theology and a graduate degree in philosophy with the plan to be a college professor.

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