BOYS: Wolf Pack win is monumental
- Updated: April 24, 2021
2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL
EastCountySports.com staff report
SANTEE – Renata Armstrong, the widow of former West Hills and local coaching great Jeff Armstrong, came across the court and gave Wolf Pack head coach Tim Barry a big hug as the coach smiled up to the trusses of the gym thinking about his mentor, who passed away in Oct. 2018.
The West Hills Wolf Pack had just knocked off the Helix Highlanders for the first time in six years, defeating the Scotties 70-64 in the Grossmont Hills League opener in Santee on Friday night.
“I just looked up to smile back at Coach Armstrong,” Barry said. “Renata and I went for a bite to eat before the game and we basically ended up talking about how many times Helix has defeated the Pack. This was the first time we’ve beaten them since my son (Cam) was a freshman at West Hills.”
The Wolf Pack rallied from a 38-32 halftime deficit to win. Helix had led by as many as nine points earlier in the second quarter.
“I have always told my players that if you win the third quarter then you are more than likely to win the game,” Barry said. “I told them at halftime, ‘we have to find a way to win, we can’t leave this game out there for them to take.’
“What a celebration it was in the locker room tonight, celebrating one of the biggest wins in the team’s history.”
Brendan Greene, shook off a late-season football injury to return to the lineup and score 21 points for West Hills.
Meanwhile, consistent leader Kyle Dobyns helped deliver the monumental win with 20 points.
Pack guard Ashton Avestro turned in one of his best games of the season, tallying 12 points, including six in the first quarter.
West Hills’ deep threat, Cash Creighton, had a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter, while Dobyns and Avestro combined for 10 points in the period.
“This was the first time we had all 12 of our players and they were able to practice all week,” Barry said. “Except for Greene, who got hurt last Friday in the football game against Santana. It was his first night back practicing with us while warming up before the game.”
Helix really took advantage of West Hills’ hesitancy in the second quarter.
Isaiah Thomas scored 10 of his game-high 24 points in the second quarter as Helix outscored the Wolf Pack 22-15 in the second.
Sophomore Ahkwon White lit it up early for Helix with three three-pointers in the first quarter. Junior Devin Albert also made a three in the second quarter.
It was White’s fourth three of the game in the second quarter which gave the Highlanders a 36-27 lead.
The Wolf Pack took a 55-52 lead in the fourth quarter when Thomas tied the game with a three.
Thomas had 11 points in the fourth quarter, but the Scotties were the ones playing catch-up following a big West Hills run to take command late.
Markees Williams had a three-pointer in the fourth quarter and finished with 12 points for Helix.
West Hills improved to 9-2 overall, while the Highlanders fell to 5-6 overall.
“(Former Helix coach) John Singer and I talked in the offseason about retirement,” Barry said. “I played against his teams and I consider him one of the legends of East County athletics, along with guys like Zach Peck (of Monte Vista), Frank Foggiano (of Grossmong), John Bobof (of Santana), and Ross Furrow (of El Capitan).
“Jason Cavazos is a great coach that will do big things and was a great choice to replace a legend like John Singer. Jason gets the most out of his players every time I have faced him. Helix is very athletic and they played very hard.”
West Hills faces Liberty (6-5) on Saturday at 3. The Wolf Pack defeated the Lions, 67-55, in an earlier meeting this season.
FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 60, BISHOP’S 56 — FCHS (3-7) rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit and overtook Bishop’s on a 3-pointer by junior Joseph Hankins with 45 seconds left after the teams traded the lead a few times in the final minutes at Perkins Court.
Foothills Christian trailed 47-40 with six minutes left in the contest.
Hankins’ right-handed shot from the left corner gave Foothills a 57-54 lead.
Bishop’s missed a well-defended three-point attempt off the rim with 11 seconds remaining, which would have tied the game.
Junior Anthony Lambert gave Foothills Christian a 54-52 lead with 1:35 left in the game.
Senior Darrien-Carter Hollinger ran a two-man game with his brother, sophomore Derrius Carter-Hollinger for a basket and a 51-49 lead with 2:15 to play.
Lambert also had a three-pointer from the right corner with 3:45 left that closed Bishop’s lead to 49-47.
Moments earlier, Lambert picked up a loose ball on a turnover and went right to the goal for a bucket that brought it to 47-44.
Bishop’s led 19-14 after one quarter before extending the lead to 35-25 at halftime.
SANTANA 76, EL CAJON VALLEY 47 – The Sultans won the Grossmont Valley League opener in Santee over the Braves on Friday night, pulling away from the visitors’ challenge in the fourth quarter.
MOUNT MIGUEL 48, MONTE VISTA 33 – Mount Miguel improved to 6-2 with the Grossmont Valley League-opening win over the Monarchs on Friday night in Spring Valley.
Mount Miguel turned up the defense early, taking a 9-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Matadors led just 20-10 at halftime.
Mount Miguel took a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter.
Monte Vista was led by Isaiah Hilke’s eight points and 14 rebounds.
Cam McKan added seven points for the Monarchs.
Armondo Rasing and Chris Lybarger made three-pointers for the Monarchs. Lybarger grabbed five boards.
GRANITE HILLS 78, STEELE CANYON 55 – The 21st-ranked Eagles won at home against the Cougars to improve to 8-1 and 1-0 in the Grossmont Hills League.
While the Eagles seem to be meeting the eye-test of the media poll, the computers don’t seem to calculate Granite Hills’ success just yet.
Steele Canyon fell to 4-6.
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