By John Philip Wyllie
The Eastlake Titans are off to a promising 12-3 start on the basketball court as the team prepares to enter league competition. Point guard Martin Meza has played a major role in that early success.
“Marty is our quarterback out there and he has taken on a big leadership role. He has definitely stepped his game up this year and he is making a difference,” said Titans coach, Alex Estrada. “He is a quiet, reserved kid, but he has a certain toughness about him. He is aggressive, loves to battle and doesn’t back down from people. You need to have some of that. He is a gamer.”
Meza grew up in the Imperial Valley and got his start playing organized basketball there as a seventh grader. The following year he moved to the Eastlake area and participated in their middle school basketball program. In the subsequent years Meza elevated his game to the varsity level without the benefit of club basketball. He has however, played volleyball for the Titans and that he believes has improved his vertical leap and coordination.
“As our point guard I am expected to lead the team and get them going up and down the court. I like having the ball in my hands,” Meza said.
Adept at passing, anticipating plays and knowing just when to make that critical pass, Meza sets the table for the team’s trio of top scorers: Trevon Ash (14.6 ppg), Dillon Doria (10.8 ppg) and Felix Dion (10.6 ppg). Defensively, Meza dogs the opposition at every turn always on the lookout for an errant pass or an opportunity for a quick turnover.
Meza believes his team’s strength lies in its depth.
“We have a lot of scorers on this team, so as the point guard I can dish the ball off to any of them and they will come through. We’re pretty deep. This team has about eight guys that can sub in and out. I think we have the talent to reach the final four of the CIF Division I Tournament.”
Before that happens, the Titans expect to fend off challenges from top Mesa League opponents like Hilltop, Otay Ranch and Mater Dei and repeat as league champions.
While his high school basketball career will end this semester, Mesa hopes to continue at the next level.
“I have applied to Cal-State Fullerton and I am hoping to walk on there. I am not sure what I will study, but I have always been good at math and history. I have been thinking about maybe one day becoming an engineer.”
For now however, Mesa is more focused on engineering the wins that will gain the Titans another league title and an opportunity to advance into the post-season playoffs.