After going 17-9 last season and 6-1 in the Tri-County Conference, it's safe to say Matt Moulder's first season on the bench for California was a success.
With a 2-2 record following a 53-26 demolition of Green Ridge on Tuesday night, it's uncertain yet if Moulder and the Pintos can improve off last season, but California's matchup with Hermann at the Capital City Shootout may go a long way in determining how good the Pintos are.
In the Bearcats, California will get a team fresh off a title at the Montgomery County Invitational. Hermann returns all of its key cogs from last season, most notably multi-sport standout Garrett Leimkuehler.
Based on early indications, the game may come down to the perimeter. California boasts a slew of sweet-shooting guards. Though they don't want to live and die by the 3-ball, the Pintos are more than comfortable letting the ball fly from distance.
"We spread the floor," California senior Wyatt Percival said. "It works really well for our spread offense and catches our streaky shooters when they're open so we can knock them down.
Percival is one of three senior starters for the Pintos, along with Luke Freeman and Wyatt Bestgen. California has also gotten some nice minutes from guards Isaac Ash, Jimmie Upton and Jordan Geiser this season.
"We're a much better shooting team this year," Freeman said. "We have a lot of good shooting guards and we can hit more shots more consistently. This offense that we're running works for us."
After not being in last season's Capital City Shootout, the Pintos are simply eager to get back on the big stage and showcase their program.
"I think it will show teams what we're made of," Freeman said. "We can go out there and play with anybody."