East County Sports

Eagles get familiar with tourney win




EastCountySports.com staff report


SANTEE – The Granite Hills Eagles won their first game of the season on Friday night, defeating the Southwest High Eagles, of El Centro, 51-43, at the Armstrong Memorial Horsman Automotive Tournament at West Hills High.

Granite Hills, which lacked a familiar cohesiveness in a season-opening loss to Santana on Tuesday night here in its tournament opener, stepped up the defense in this one.

“We played much better defensively tonight to overcome another poor shooting night,” Granite Hills coach DAN DUFFY said. “We have a long way to go, but I’m happy with our hustle so far.”

JOHN VRSICH scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made three blocks to lead Granite Hills.

“We played well considering it was only our second game of the year with an all new team,” Vrsich said. “We are still getting used to playing together but overall I think we are beginning to hit our stride.

Granite Hills junior JOHN YAKOU scored seven points in the first quarter and had two more treys in the second quarter on the way to 17 points.

“I had a great night along with the team, ” Yakou said. “Tonight’s win was a great start to our season. The team and I worked well together on defense to get good stops, and also well on offense to get buckets. We ran through plays successfully helping us to get wide open shots and decent drives to the basket, and we came out with a win.”

Junior MCKAY ROBERTS had a pair of three-pointers in the contest and scored nine of his 12 points in the second half.

“I have taken on a new role with the team and have to step up my scoring if we are gonna win,” Roberts said. “I’m still learning how to get my own shot and how to work with the young team. I also need to keep my composure during games and not picking up fouls. I’m gonna pick it up though lol just a rough start.

“The team played weak at the beginning (of the game) but we have to keep that mindset the whole game and not slack off in the second and third quarter.”

Vrisch had six points in the third quarter and 10 in the second half. Vrsich and Yakou combined to go 6-for-6 from the line in the fourth quarter. Yakou was also 6-for-6 from the line for the game.

“I just let the game come to me and decided to be aggressive going for rebounds,” Vrsich said. “I think if we stay aggressive and continue to play smart we can compete with anyone. Coach said he loved our improvement and it’s only going to get better, and I agree.”

Granite Hills will next face Mt. Carmel here at West Hills High at the Horsman Automotive Tournament next Wednesday at 5:30. The Eagles are 1-1 at the event.

” I saw them warm up today after our game they seem like there is a strong core of returning varsity players,” Vrsich said. “We should approach it like any other game just do our thing and get things done.”


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