East County Sports

Eagles stop Norsemen to wake up season


EastCountySports.com staff report

EL CAJON – The Granite Hills Eagles needed nothing more than a visit from rival Valhalla to perk up their season.

The Norsemen have made a lot of noise with their stellar play leading up to the Grossmont Valley League season, but the Eagles have thrown their hat into the league title ring with a 68-53 upset win over visiting Valhalla on Friday night.

Junior JOHN YAKOU and senior MCKAY ROBERTS both scored 23 points as the Eagles scored a major upset over the top-rated team in Division III.

Yakou also had eight rebounds and five assists, as he turned in his best game as a member of the Eagle varsity, according to Granite Hills coach DAN DUFFY.

Granite Hills senior HUNTER PIKE added 10 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots

“We’re getting healthier and getting more comfortable on the court,” Duffy said. “I’m proud of our hustle. We have worked hard all season with the goal of playing our best when league started. 

“We were disappointed with some bad breaks in the loss on Tuesday (a 37-35 loss to El Capitan), but bounced back with the increased intensity I asked for tonight.”

The Eagles got off to a 9-3 start but Valhalla senior JORDAN GAINES hit a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter to give the Norsemen the edge after one period.

However, Granite Hills eventually would take a 30-15 lead in the second quarter.

Valhalla sophomore JOE AVALOS hit a three-pointer to close the Granite lead to 33-20.

Senior DOMANIC SAFARTA made a three-pointer in the final minute of the first half for Valhalla to close the Granite lead to 38-25.

But Granite Hills turned in a big performance in the third quarter and led 60-37 early in the fourth before Valhalla put together a 14-2 run to try and get back in the game late keyed by a pair of three-pointers from senior EVAN O’NEILL

Granite Hills limited the Norsemen to just 25 percent from the field and the Eagles shot 90 percent from the free-throw line.

The Eagles (6-11, 1-1 GVL) will host El Cajon Valley on Tuesday.

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