East County Sports

Highlanders win on Howard’s late bucket

Helix freshman SAMONAH BETTS puts up a shot in the fourth quarter Friday night. / EastCountySports photo

West Hills senior KERRIE DANIELS backs down with the ball on Friday. / EastCountySports.com photo



By Ramon Scott


West Hills’ SARAH MOYER with the ball on Friday night. / EastCountySports.com photo


LA MESA – The Helix Highlanders had grown tired of losing to the West Hills Wolf Pack.

After season sweeps over the last three years, this group of Scots was ready to turn things around.

“West Hills had beaten us six times in-a-row,” Helix coach FREDDIE GARRETT said.

Helix senior MARIYAH HOWARD scored a basket as time expired Friday night to give the Highlanders a 40-39 Grossmont Hills League victory over visiting West Hills.

Howard set up in the middle of the lane and got a lofted entry pass from fellow senior DIAMOND WHITLEY in between three Wolf Pack defenders. When she came down with it, none of the defenders were between her and the backboard, as she calmly banked home of the game-winner.

“I just knew I had to make (the basket) for the team,” Howard said. “I just put it up and hoped the for best.”

“I saw her coming,” Whitley said. “I just wanted her to go up and shoot it.”

Said Howard of the ensuing excitement: “It had my heart racing. I just loved it.”

The victory improved Helix’s Grossmont Hills League record to 3-1 and moved the Highlanders into a second-place tie with the Wolf Pack.

West Hills held a 28-25 lead with 3:48 left in the third quarter.

The Wolf Pack’s SARAH MOYER scored for a 30-25 lead with just over three minutes to go in the third.

The Wolf Pack led 33-30 at the end of three.

However, Helix’s SAMONAH BETTS led an eight-point surge, hitting a pair of three-pointers to give Helix a five-point advantage with 5:15 to go in the game.

West Hills battled to tie the game at 38-all with 47.6 seconds to go.

Wolf Pack senior KERRIE DANIELS drew a foul and hit a free throw with 8.2 seconds remaining for a one-point lead.

“They had a good team,” Garrett said. “We knew we would have to come out and play hard and we still had to play until the buzzer.”

Helix (14-5) hosts Lincoln tonight in a non-league game at 7 p.m.



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