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Boys basketball coach of the year: Eddie Courtemarche, Los Alamitos
Los Alamitos was trailing Santa Margarita by 15 points in the third quarter of their CIF Southern California Regionals boys basketball playoff game.
The Griffins did not panic. They were even a bit confident.
Sure enough, they rallied to beat Santa Margarita by five points.
Edison coach Rich Boyce was not surprised. He coaches against the Griffins and their coach, Eddie Courtemarche, twice a year in Sunset League competiton.
“Eddie is very even-keeled,” Boyce said. “And his team reflects that. They never get too high and they never get too low.”
There were plenty of highs for Los Alamitos. The Griffins went undefeated in the Sunset League, collected 25 wins, finished with a No. 2 ranking in the final Orange County poll, and made the school’s deepest foray in the regionals.
One more high point for Courtemarche: He has been selected by the Register as the Orange County boys basketball coach of the year.
ALL-COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL
- OCVarsity Hot Shots: All-County boys and girls basketball teams
- All-County boys basketball team: First team
- Boys basketball player of the year: Eyassu Worku, Los Alamitos
- Boys basketball coach of the year: Eddie Courtemarche, Los Alamitos
- All-County boys basketball: Second Team through Sixth Team
Courtemarche, 32, just completed his sixth season as head coach at Los Alamitos, where he played basketball before going on to Claremont-McKenna College. Courtemarche then spent four years as an assistant coach at Los Alamitos under Russ May and one season as head coach at Bellflower before returning to Los Alamitos as head coach to replace May after he departed to become the coach at Cerritos College.
Courtemarche learned a lot from his predecessor.
“Russ gave me a good idea of what a coach is supposed to be like,” Courtemarche said, “From how he organizes practices to how he prepares a team for a game, to how he deals with players both good and bad.”
Los Alamitos senior Eyassu Worku said Courtemarche has the players’ trust.
“He’s more than a coach to me,” Worku said. “He’s also a good friend. I can ask him about anything.”
Coming into this season, Courtemarche knew he had a star in Worku. He was not as sure about the rest of the roster.
“But Eyassu made everybody a better player, and he made me a better coach,” Courtemarche said. “The other guys bought into their roles and executed them successfully.”
Their coach guided them with a steady hand.
“The team is a reflection of the coach,” Courtemarche said, “so it’s important to show the face you want the team to have.”
There often were smiles on the faces of the Los Alamitos players, and their county coach of the year.
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