East County Sports

Foothillers edge Pack in Hills thriller

Grossmont High freshman Exavier Williams. / P.J. Panebianco




EastCountySports.com staff report


LA MESA – Grossmont High and West Hills High played down to a thriller in an important early-season Grossmont Hills League battle on Tuesday evening.

Junior Elijah Williams and freshman Exavier Williams made three-point field goals in the fourth quarter for Grossmont (10-4, 1-1 GHL), which held off West Hills (10-5, 1-2 GHL), 51-50.

Kyle Dobyns scored 20 points for the Wolf Pack.

The Wolf Pack rallied late after trailing 48-40 following Exavier Williams’ three-pointer for Grossmont.

After the Hillers’ Elijah Williams hit his fourth-quarter trey, the Pack moved to within a bucket at 51-49 with 15 seconds left.

West Hills senior Brendan Greene made a three-pointer, then moments later, made a free throw to cut the lead to one, but Green’s second shot didn’t fall.

Grossmont grabbed the rebound but the player fell to the ground and was called for a travel with eight seconds remaining.

West Hills lost the ball with 2.2 seconds left after Dobyns drew contact from a Grossmont defender.

The Wolf Pack was able to regain possession on the inbounds play when they forced a jump ball with the arrow pointing to West Hills with 1.4 seconds left, however, with Dobyns drawing a double team, the Pack were unable to get a last-second shot attempt off, as a defender just knocked the ball loose from the potential shooter.

“Coach (Tim) Barry drew up a great play for us to run but the game didn’t end how we planned. Both (league losses) ended so close and I know if we had a couple more minutes we would come out with the wins.”

Juniors Aaron Velasco and Sergio Franso both led Grossmont with 11 points. Franso made a pair of three-pointers.

Greene finished with 13 points for West Hills, while teammate Luke Gibson ended with eight points.

“A great battle, I figured it would be,” Barry said. “Dobyns had a really good game. Another tough road loss that was there for the taking, but really proud of our team’s efforts. We are so so close, just have to find a way.”

Junior River Elliott added nine points for Grossmont, while Elijah Williams finished with eight.

Newcomer Max Conaway got his first start for the Wolf Pack, making a field goal with under three minutes to play, pulling West Hills to within 48-46.

“It felt great to get on the court (as a starter) and help out the team and show everyone that I could make an impact,” Conaway said. “It was definitely a game I’ll never forget. Everyone has their fingers crossed at the finish but the guy got a finger on it.

“Just to hear Grossmont cheering knowing we just lost a league game really hit deep and hurt us a lot more than any other game.”

Conaway also grabbed six rebounds on the night.

“Max is giving us a great effort and gives us size at 6-foot-4,” Barry said.

West Hills led at halftime, 22-21.

“We would both go on runs throughout the game,” Dobyns said. “It’s nice having Max as another big man. We didn’t get to have him play in the first half of the season due to football but it’s nice having another big that can rebound and run the floor. I think with two losses we can still be league champs. We need to go on a winning streak and focus on one game at a time. In doing so it will get us ready for playoffs.”

Junior Trenton Giles added a three-pointer for the Foothillers.


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