East County Sports

Upon review, Sanders’ shot is game-winner

Steele Canyon celebrates following the game-winning basket on Friday night.




By Adam Paul


RANCHO SAN DIEGO (2-2-18) – The last time Steele Canyon and West Hills collided was back in January when the Wolf Pack won by a score of 55-46 and because of that, you knew this time it was going to be another battle.

Indeed it was quite a battle as the Cougars would use a 5-0 run to lead 14-8 and eventually push that to an 8-2 run to lead 17-10 behind both Gage Sanders and Diar Sadiq scoring 7 points apiece.

On the other side, it was Cam Barry who kept the Pack in the contest as he scored 10 of the packs 15 points in the first quarter. However, the Cougars led 22-15 after the first period.

In the second quarter, things for the Pack got really interesting as they would use an 8-point swing with a little over six and a half minutes to trail 26-24 but the Cougars would push back with a basket to match.

However again it was Barry to the rescue for West Hills as he would score the Pack’s last 12 points with 3:37 to go until halftime. Eventually, West Hills would take its first lead of the contest 36-34 with 7.9 seconds which would be the score at the break.

West Hills in the second quarter would outscore the Cougars 21-12 behind Barry and his 12 points which included 3 3-pointers. Adam Dillon also contributed 4 points with a perfect 4-4 from the foul line.

For Steele Canyon Thomas Fishburne led with 4 points in the quarter.

Now came the controversy, the Wolf Pack thought they were leading 36-34 as they went into the dressing room only to come back before the half ended to find out the score had been changed to 37-35 in favor of the Cougars.

It was noticed by a few fans in the stands and the coaches noticed it as well and they informed the officials who gathered everyone for a discussion and went over the books. Ultimately the officials decided to keep the score the same which didn’t make West Hills happy at all.

With the decision to keep the score the same both teams trekked through the third quarter in which Steele Canyon would lead 46-45 heading into the fourth quarter.

The other thing that occurred in the third quarter was the officials decided to try and fix the scoring error and added points.

With the slim one-point lead going into the fourth it was anyone’s ballgame and sure enough, the Pack struck first. They jumped out to a 7-0 run to take a 52-46 lead.

However, the Cougars had more up their sleeves as they streaked to a 12-1 roll to lead 58-53 with only a couple of minutes remaining in the game.

With both teams in the bonus, every foul sent each other to the line to shoot free throws as the Cougars shot 13 foul shots while the Wolf Pack shot 11 in the fourth quarter.

Foul shots would come into play in the quarter as West Hills missed a couple key free throws but would also come into play when Barry would sink two to tie game 61-61 with 7.7 seconds remaining.

So with only a few seconds remaining the Cougars took the ball out from the other end of the court after the timeout. They would either win it in regulation or head into overtime.

Steele inbounded the ball and got into the hands of Sanders who drove the length of the court and stopped a couple of feet behind the three-point arch and launched it and swished it for what would be the game-winning shot.

For the Pack, Barry led all scorers with 33 points including 4 3-pointers while his teammate Adam Dillon chipped in with 16 points.

On the other side for Steele Canyon, Sanders led with 23 points including 3 3-pointers in which one was the game winner, Sadiq scored 12 points, and Grant Childs had 11 points.

West Hills with the loss drops to 13-8 (3-3) and a three-way tie for third while Steele Canyon with the win improves to 9-7 (3-3) and jumps back into the league race.

Up next for the Pack is a road game at Granite Hills on Tuesday, February 6th while Steele Canyon has a non-league contest against La Jolla at 4:30 pm in the Coaches Against Cancer Showcase to be played at Montgomery High School on Saturday, February 3rd.

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