East County Sports

Patriots set sail in second quarter surge over Pointers



By James McHugh
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (1-9-16) — The Christian High Patriots are off to a 2-0 start in Central League play after a 57-44 win over Point Loma at home Friday night (Jan. 8) in the Ryan Athletic Center. Senior TRAVIS BALLARD turned in a double-double of 19-points and 11 rebounds to pace the Patriots.


KYLE STOWERS put in another solid performance for the Patriots as well, netting 16-points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.


The Pointers and Patriots were knotted at 13-13 after the first quarter before Christian opened the second quarter on a 10-2 run capped off by a Ballard hoop and foul gave the Patriots a 28-17 lead less than halfway through the quarter. The Pointers didn’t go away easily, closing to within three at the break, trailing 30-27 headed into the locker rooms.


Point Loma closed the Patriots’ lead to four points at 39-35 in the third before GARRETT NIELSEN converted a free throw and then ended the quarter on a putback at the buzzer off a Stowers miss that rimmed out. That gave Christian a seven point cushion and the Patriots never allowed the lead to drop lower than five the remainder of the night.


Back- to-back three pointers by Stowers gave Christian its largest lead of the game at 55-42 late. LAYNE LARSEN also landed two shots from beyond the arc on the night and forced Point Loma to send defenders his way whenever he touched the ball, freeing up Stowers and Ballard to do their work inside.


“The last three games Stowers has really stepped up,” remarked coach BRAD BRISTOL after the win. “He has played how I want him to play these last three, I’ve told him we know it’s in him, he just has to let that game out on the court.”


Bristol sees room for improvement for the Patriots as they trudge on in Central League play. “We need to apply more defensive pressure. We allowed a lot of open looks tonight. Point Loma is a really good team but we just allowed them to take too many open shots from the outside” Bristol said of the Pats’ defensive effort.


“Ballard is the centerpiece of our offense, he’s been solid, he’s been consistent. So when we get this kind of game from Stowers and we keep getting them, we’ll be tough to stop.”


Christian travels to the Peninsula next to take on Coronado on Tuesday (Jan. 12) at 6:30 P.M.

Christian:  Travis Ballard 19 (11 reb, 2 ast, 1 blk, 1 stl), Kyle Stowers 16 (9 reb, 5 ast), Layne Larsen 10 (3 reb, 1 stl), David Todd Jeremiah 5 (4 stl, 3 reb, 2 ast), Garrett Nielsen 3 (2 reb), Grant Taylor 2 (2 reb), Jacob Sandusky 2 (1 reb), Dominic Bristol (1 ast, 1 blk), Joe Vrzich (1 reb).

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