East County Sports

Murray, Niskey shine, but Hillers drop seeding game

Grossmont's Matt Murray scores during the Foothillers' loss at Army-Navy Tuesday night in Carlsbad.



By Bill Dickens

CARLSBAD (3-2-16) — Despite a 26-16 fourth quarter run, the visiting Grossmont Foothillers fell short in Tuesday’s (Mar. 1) Open Division consolation contest against Army-Navy, 76-67.

MATT MURRAY, who moved west from North Carolina, enjoyed one of his finest games at Grossmont with 25 points and 12 rebounds.

JACOB NISKEY scored a career high 21 points and collected 8 rebounds in the loss.

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Tommy Rutherford, of Grossmont, before Tuesday night’s game against Army-Navy.

“We seem to always start out sluggish,” said Foothillers coach FRANK FOGGIANO, “because our kids feel a lot of pressure without TOMMY (RUTHERFORD) out there. It always seems to take us awhile to get into the flow of the game, and by that time we’re pretty far behind.”

As has been documented before, Division I standout Tommy Rutherford has been sidelined for the last four games with a serious ankle sprain.

“Even though we didn’t have Tommy, this is a game we could have won,” Foggiano said.

Grossmont (22-6) cut a healthy Army-Navy lead to 5 points with 1:25 to go, but then had to foul and the Warriors (21-9) made their free throws.

The same couldn’t be said for Grossmont, which was only 16-for-27 from the charity stripe.

The season continues for the Foothillers, who will play at Poway on Thursday (Mar. 3) at 7 p.m. in an Open Division consolation game.

Grossmont:  Matt Murray 25 (12 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl), Jacob Niskey 21 (8 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl), Hunter Gaines 8 (2 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl), Jonah Hebel 5 (1 reb, 1 stl), Alex Lilliard 4 (2 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl).

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