Coach M.R. Buffum has a big goal every year to get his players to win the league title.
“We want to make the playoffs and keep improving and peak at the end of the season,” he said.
This is Buffum’s 22nd year coaching boys basketball on Lopez and he has seen Lummi win the league title for the last seven years.
He has also seen the Lobos finish in second place three times and win third place once.
He knows what it takes for a strong finish. Last year, the Lobos finished fourth in the league and lost two games in the playoffs.
Despite losing a lot of seniors from last year he says this year’s team has the advantage of height, are shooting extremely well and have a good team foundation.
“They all played football, but one guy, so they have all been together doing sports,” said Buffum. “They are a tight team.”
This year’s team is 14 players strong including four seniors, four juniors, five sophomores and one freshman.
As far as improvement, Buffum said that the team can work on their defense strategies and deployment.
For instance, rebounding is something Buffum predicts will be a skill the boys will have to work on.
“We didn’t rebound last year really well,” he added. “It was a thorn in our side.”
Assistant Coach Tak Peralta, a former player, is in his second year of helping Buffum with the team.
Buffum describes Peralta as working really well with younger members of the team.
“He got good by working hard so he is trying to get them to work hard and be more assertive,” he said.
“Hopefully we will reach our potential,” said Buffum. “And it’s about having some fun.”