East County Sports

Eagles wake up to cruise past Arabs

Mt. San Jacinto and Imperial Valley go up on Saturday. / photo by DeeAnn Bradley


East County Sports staff report

SAN JACINTO (1-13-2019) – Please forgive state-ranked Mt. San Jacinto College of its slow start Saturday (Jan. 12). When a ballclub is used to certain intangibles when playing at home, any deviation to the standard preparation routine can cause problems.

Conversely, there is generally no set system for Imperial Valley College, which normally travels hours and hours throughout Southern California and Arizoa for road games, starting at all times of the day and night.

So when the Mt. San Jacinto squad faced an odd start time of 3 p.m. – at least for them – the Eagles predictably started slowly. But that was soon reversed.

Following a moderate scoreless streak to open the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference North-South Challenge contest, the Eagles quickly raced to a double-digit lead and pulled away for a 98-85 triumph over the visiting Arabs.

Over the opening four minutes, Mt. San Jacinto converted just one basket. But when Justin Holiday moved inside for a dunk, the energized Eagles were off and running. They eventually mounted a 20-point lead before coasting to the finish line.

Mt. San Jacinto is now 15-2, with the lone losses coming to Fullerton, the top-rated team in the Southland, and No. 7 Southwestern. Imperial Valley fell too 7-10 overall after falling for the fourth time in six starts.

Because of the Eagles’ slow start, head coach Patrick “Hawkeye” Springer summoned Holiday from off the bench. The freshman forward from Las Vegas responded with 17 of his team-best 28 points in the first half.

For the ballgame, Holiday converted 10-of-12 shots, then grabbed a late rebound to give him 10 boards to complete his double-double, as did forward Luka Filipovic (14 points, 15 boards).

In addition, Eagles guard David Thompson added 22 points and 7 assists. 
For Imperial Valley, forward Alvin Martin led all scorers with 30 points. It was Martin’s third straight outing to set a career high in scoring. Four days earlier, Martin set his previous best with 20 against College of the Desert after getting 18 against Pasadena on Dec. 29.

Other top scorers for IVC were guards Timberland Mills (20 points) and Maurice White  (16).

San Diego Mesa 85, Occidental JV 71:  At Eagle Rock, the Olympians (4-13) won for third time in four contest by downing the host “Tiny Tigers,” the junior varsity squad from Occidental College. As usual with 4-year schools with JV programs, no boxscore was reported.

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