East County Sports

Patriots fly away from grounded Eagles late



EastCountySports.com staff report


EL CAJON – The Christian High Patriots pulled away from Granite Hills in the fourth quarter after the Eagles were saddled by foul trouble late in the San Diego CIF Division 2 playoff game at Ryan Athletic Center.

The game was tied at halftime at 41-all and remained close into the third quarter with the Eagles trailing by just five points heading into the fourth.

Christian turned the game into rout when the Eagles became a bit outmanned and went on to an 88-65 victory.

Senior guard NASHOM CARTER proved playoff ready with some nifty moves to the basket to finish with 20 points for Christian High.

Junior JACKSON LARSEN hit a game-opening three for the Patriots en route to 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Junior CHRISTIAN WEST had nine points for Christian, including a tip-in with 5:31 left in the first period to make it 10-6.

Junior ISAIAH ROBINSON, who finished with 11 points for the Patriots, hit a three-pointer to make it 13-8.

But the Eagles battled early and it was 21-20 Granite at the end of the first quarter.

Eagles senior MOSES SMITH had one of his strongest starts to any game this season, racking up 12 points early.

Carter made two free throws, then recorded a steal and layup for a 26-21 Christian lead.

Patriots junior DOMINIC SAFARTA tied the game at 33-all in the second quarter.

The teams dueled back-and-forth by a couple of points during the remainder of the second quarter.

Robinson’s three made it 48-45 Patriots with five minutes and change left in the third quarter.

Granite Hills’ star, Smith, fouled out in the third quarter when he was called for fouls on back-to-back possessions.

Smith had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The score was 59-54 at the end of third period.

Junior JAVIER JIMINEZ’s assist to Carter extended the Christian High lead to 70-59.

Carter added 12 assists and seven rebounds.

Another strong player up front for Granite, DAVID COFFEY, also fouled out after scoring eight points.

Granite Hills senior AUSTIN BALLO went out with a flurry and was a treat to watch down the stretch for the Eagles, as he willed his way to 18 points in the second half, including seven free throws in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore MCKAY ROBERTS added 10 points for the Eagles.

Granite Hills finished 14-12.

“Would’ve been nice to see a close ending with our guys on the court,” Granite Hills coach DAN DUFFY said. “We had to go with players in the fourth that just haven’t the experience on the court this season.

“Christian is a good, well-balanced team.”

The Patriots (19-8) will host Oceanside, which dismantled visiting West Hills, 83-61, on Tuesday.

The Pirates come to the Ryan Center on Friday at 7 with a 16-12 mark.


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