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Thousand Oaks boys basketball tops Agoura with a fast-paced finish

THOUSAND OAKS – Thousand Oaks is the lone unbeaten boys basketball team in the Marmonte League after taking down previously unbeaten Agoura, 58-50, on Friday night.

The Lancers came back from a 15-point deficit in the first quarter after switching up their defense and playing in accordance with the up-tempo style that first-year coach Logan Baltau has brought to the program.

Thousand Oaks’ students react after a three-point basket by Cole Caudill (10) against Agoura, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Agoura’s Nasir Meyer drives between Thousand Oaks’ Jacob Kjarval, left, and Garrett Powell, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Trent MacLean, left, and Agoura’s Zane Miller battle for a rebound, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Trent MacLean grabs a rebound between Agoura’s Ignacio Spayne, left, and Nasir Meyer, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Trent MacLean, goes for a shot between Agoura’s Zane Miller, left, and Christopher Galvan, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Agoura’s Nasir Meyer shoots over Thousand Oaks’ Jacob Kjarval, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Jacob Kjarval, left, and Agoura’s Leo Woronov dive for a loose ball, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Elias Chin drives between Agoura’s Zach Ourfalian, left, and Ignacio Spayne, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Agoura’s Nasir Meyer motions after making a basket against Thousand Oaks, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Jacob Kjarval (3) shoots over Agoura’s Peter Iba (11), Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Thousand Oaks’ Elias Chin shoots past Agoura’s Nasir Meyer, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

Agoura’s Nasir Meyer (2) shoots against Thousand Oaks’ Jacob Kjarval, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at Thousand Oaks High School. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker, contributing photographer)

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“Kids want to play fast and have fun and score,” Baltau said. “When you have talent like that, it shows best when the coach tries to get out of the way and just let them play.”

Thousand Oaks had three players reach double-digits in scoring: Trent MacLean (25), Jacob Kjarval (14) and Elias Chin (13).

Agoura (12-8 overall, 3-1 Marmonte League) hit the floor aggressively to open the game, with Nasir Meyer (26 points) at the forefront. Meyer scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Chargers seemed to repeatedly blindside the Lancers as they drove to the paint.

Thousand Oaks (15-4, 4-0) was visibly motivated after Jacob Kjarval’s 3-pointer with 1:35 to go, but Agoura was already well ahead with a 15-point advantage.

“Be aggressive,” Agoura coach Conley Oliver said. “I feel like our guards can beat their guys. That was our plan in the first half and it worked really well.”

The Chargers’ defense focused on stopping the 6-foot-8 MacLean, who made one free throw in the first quarter before finally scoring on a layup three minutes into the second frame.

Leo Woronoy forced a turnover with under three minutes until the break to show that Agoura was still in charge, then Meyer took the ball in for a one-handed dunk.

“I was questioning what was going on right now,” Kjarval said. “But the second half, we talked in the locker room and everybody got locked in.”

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Kjarval tied the game in the third quarter, fighting for a layup and then giving the Lancers a 42-40 advantage on a mid-range jumper. With Meyer contained, Thousand Oaks was free to focus on what it wants to do: play fast, have fun and score.

The Lancers outscored Agoura 14-8 in the final quarter and the confidence that comes with being unbeaten began to grow.

“We have a lot of talent, but we haven’t really played together for long,” Baltau said. So it’s kind of a game-by-game building experiment. It’s a little random, but it’s been working so far.”

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