East County Sports

BOYS: Patriots move up to eighth, win big

Christian High seniors Vincent Warren and Michael Perez (13). / Photo by Dave Dickens

2019 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

ESCONDIDO – The Christian Patriots entered the top ten media poll this week following their long winning streak.

Christian High was ranked eighth in the latest release by the panel. The ranking was peculiar after the Patriots downed the Poway Titans, 62-59, on Saturday. The Titans were still voted sixth in the new poll.

On Monday evening, the Patriots won their 12th-straight game with a 78-37 victory over Southridge, of Surrey, B.C., at the New Year’s Tip Off at Orange Glen High.

The Patriots had a relatively easy time of it.

Patrick Roberts hit a field goal in the third quarter to extend Christian’s lead to 48-22.

Later in the third, Jake Tawhiao and Desean Lynch hit back-to-back field goals to extend the lead to 55-24.

Near the end of the third, Kobe Sanders had a two-pointer followed by a three-pointer to put Christian ahead, 60-24.

In the fourth quarter, sophomore Vinny Signorelli made six three-pointers in an impressive display of shooting.

 

LA JOLLA 61, EL CAPITAN 47 – A slow start cost the Vaqueros against the visiting Vikings on Monday.

La Jolla outscored El Cap, 17-6, in the first quarter and led 33-21 at halftime.

“We haven’t been able to get off to fast starts the past few games,” El Capitan head coach Elias Totah said. “We started playing solid basketball in the second and third quarters. (Jake) Pfitzner willed us once again and got others involved early, which was great to see.”

Pfitzner, a senior, led the Vaqueros with 18 points, including a pair of three-pointers. He also led the team with six rebounds.

“The key to getting over those humps and taking the lead is just keeping the same tempo and playing at our pace,” Pfitzner said. “Not slowing down, just keep pushing and pushing until we eventually take the lead, which I feel like is one of our bigger problems.”

Junior R.J. Lugtu went 3-for-3 from three-point range and finished with eight points for El Capitan (7-7), while sophomore teammate Daisean Desinor added seven points.

“My expectations for us this season is to win the league and I’m pretty sure it matches Coach Totah’s expectations for this team,” Lugtu said. “It has been a great learning experience being coached by an up and coming coach like Coach Totah and I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Senior Jaqori Harris had five points and five rebounds for the Vaqueros.

“I like our fight and grit,” Totah said. “We just need to put together more runs. La Jolla did a great job of attacking our guard play. (La Jolla’s Christian) Gamboa is a player. He was the first priority on the scouting report. I thought we held our own.”

Up next for El Capitan is a match with West Hills on Wednesday night, where Totah – a former point guard at the school – was groomed as an assistant coach under the late Jeff Armstrong, and current Wolf Pack mentor Tim Barry.

“That will be emotional for me but very exciting and something I’m looking forward to,” Totah said.

ESCONDIDO 76, WEST HILLS 45 – The Cougars downed the Wolf Pack in a non-league game in Santee on Monday, as West Hills could not keep up with the pace of the visitors.

The Wolf Pack came out strong against the good Escondido (9-7) squad, racing to a 15-9 lead but were thoroughly defeated over the next three quarters.

The Cougars’ talented sophomore, Nicholas Payne, scored 34 points, making six three-pointers.

Kyle Dobyns tried to keep the Wolf Pack in it with a double-double, posting 20 points and 10 rebounds.

“We came into tonight’s game knowing that Escondido was a good team that could shoot the ball,” Dobyns said. “We had many turnovers that Escondido scored off of.”

West Hills’ Jayden Moreno and Cash Creighton each had a three-pointer in the contest. Moreno finished with seven points.

The Pack’s Ashton Avestro and Luke Gibson both had six points.

Next up for West Hills is the Grossmont Conference crossover game against El Cap on Wednesday before Grossmont Hills League play starts this Friday with the Wolf Pack traveling to face winless Mount Miguel.

“The game against El Cap is going to be a good game,” Dobyns said. They aren’t the tallest team but they have a lot of athletes that can shoot the ball.”

El Capitan won last year’s game against West Hills in Lakeside, 56-50, as the Wolf Pack limited the Vaqueros’ Jake Pfitzner to 2-of-16 shooting.

“Jake is a great player and always has been a great shooter,” Dobyns said. “We both run similar plays so both teams will be familiar with the play calls.”

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