East County Sports

Norsemen clinch share of Hills title

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

VALHALLA 68, HELIX 64 (3 OT)

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

EL CAJON – The Valhalla Norsemen wouldn’t be denied a championship-clinching victory against the visiting Helix Highlanders in a critical Grossmont Hills League game on Thursday night.

The Norsemen outlasted Helix, 68-64, in triple overtime with one game left in the regular season.

When the history of this remarkable school year is told, the pandemic will have had a momentary impact on the league’s boys basketball championship season.

An incomplete schedule left Granite Hills and Valhalla one game short of a full 10-game slate after a game on April 30 was postponed due to an outbreak and was never rescheduled.

For now, the Norsemen are 6-2 with a game against West Hills at home on Friday.

As for the Eagles, their record sits at 5-3 with a tough road game at Grossmont on Friday.

Valhalla can clinch the league championship outright with a victory against the Wolf Pack.

Granite Hills can earn a share of the banner with a victory and a Norsemen loss despite the unbalanced schedule and single head-to-head matchup – a 49-39 Valhalla victory at Granite last Friday night.

The score was tied at 11-all after the first quarter, as Nathan Shahatit made a three-pointer for Valhalla in the period.

Alden Elliasen executed a driving layup early in the second quarter that made Helix take a time out.

Ahkwon White made a three-pointer for the Highlanders in the second quarter.

Sophomore Darnell Clady had six points in the second quarter for Helix.

Josue Amaya had a three-pointer for the Norsemen in the third quarter

White made a three-pointer in the third quarter, then Williams had a steal and layup conversion to force at Helix time out as the score was 35-all with 2:10 left in the period.

Amaya had a big three-pointer for Valhalla in the fourth, then shortly after, drove to the glass for a big late bucket.

Williams then made a steal, dribble behind his back past a first defender then weaved under a pair of waving Norsemen and had a brilliant layup to force a Valhalla time out.

Thomas also had a pair of important free throws in the fourth quarter. He made a clutch first free throw in the final seconds but a subsequent miss left the door open for the Norsemen.

Calvert Esho, junior, scored on a bank shot from an inbound pass under the baseline from Avalos as time expired to send the game into overtime.

Isaiah Thomas had a bucket and foul conversion in the first overtime for Helix, then Markees Williams and Devin Albert added field goals as Helix surged to the lead.

However, Amaya scored a basket and the Highlander lead was cut to 52-49.

Amaya had a pair of free throws in the second overtime to tie the game at 54-all with 2:16 remaining.

Avalos gave Valhalla a 58-55 lead with a bucket with 44 seconds remaining in the second OT.

White had a putback bucket to tie the score at 59-all with just two seconds left in the second overtime.

“It was a crazy game,” Avalos said. “I always had hope and knew that we could come back and win because we have done it before. We just had to keep grinding and not get our heads down when we were behind.”

Avalos made a pair of free throws with 2:41 left in the third overtime to give Valhalla a 62-60 lead.

Amaya made a twisting layup with 1:38 to go to make it 65-60 Valhalla.

White had a three-pointer for Helix late.

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