Deer Valley boys’ basketball hires touted coach; Antioch plans to compete for league

Deer Valley High senior center Paul Oha and senior guard Brandynn Manning.

Deer Valley High top players, senior center Paul Oha and senior guard Brandynn Manning.

By Luke Johnson

Mark Hurtado has transitioned from coaching Deer Valley High School girls’ basketball to leading the boys’ team. With the girls, he won a North Coast Section Championship, along with two Bay Valley Athletic League Championships in four seasons with an overall record of 80-38.

The new position is a “dream come true” for Hurtado. Even while coaching the girls, he would still attend most of the boys’ games as a fan. The job was actually offered to him two years ago, but he shot it down because of his close relationship with the girls’ team. He ended up bringing home the NCS Title that year.

“I was too close and bonded with the girls team, so I turned it down at that point, but I told myself if that opened up again, I would jump on it,” Hurtado said.

Antioch High top players, senior forward Jake Perky and junior point guard Caleb Smith.

Antioch High top players, senior forward Jake Perky and junior point guard Caleb Smith.

He began his coaching career at College Park High School in Pleaseant Hill, shortly after graduating college, but took time off to focus on earning his credential, and is now a PE teacher at Orchard Park Middle School.

Deer Valley boys basketball was at an all-time high in 2013, as the team reached the California Interscholastic Federation NorCal Championship game, led by superstars such as Marcus Lee and Kendall Smith. But the past two seasons have been rough with a combined record of 16-36, and a 4-16 record against league opponents.

Hurtado said the team’s greatest strength will be its speed and tenacity on defense with senior Brandynn Manning (6’) and junior Raydale Robinson (6’2”) in the backcourt, accompanied by seniors Paul Uha (6’6”) and Donald Banford (6’2”) guarding the post.

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