East County Sports

Wolf Pack short on players but win

West Hills sophomore Theron Humphries. / Vic Marano




By Dave Dickens



SANTEE (12-7-2021) – Talk about a team that needs a M*A*S*H unit and tent nearby.


West Hills doesn’t just lose two or three guys every couple of weeks, they lose them in groups of three or more. Somehow, multiple players dig deep and have pulled out some of the impossible, because with fire comes desire, and this Pack has that desire to continue to pull rabbits out of their hats.


The Pack is working hard to survive numerous players out (due to medical reasons), including three-year starter Luke Gibson, to push their record to 6-3 with a win over crosstown rival, Santana., 68-43.


Max Conaway and Jake Kelly led West Hills with a strong inside presence, an all too familiar spot for Conaway.


“With a team that can line up at times, 6-foot-5, 6-foot-5, and 6-foot-6, we can be very dangerous around the glass,” said West Hills head coach Tim Barry.


Sophomore guard Theron Humphries and Caden Akins have been improving each game and the continuous steady performance from veteran Jake Partington has really expanded the Pack’s game.


Conaway continues to attack the basket and lead the team’s offense as he put up 18 on the evening.


Kelly was not too far from Conaway with 16 total points.


“With so many teammates out, it gives Jake (Kelly) and I a lot of responsibilities, we have to take care of and gives us more leadership to take on and set examples, to be role models for our team, especially with a lot of underclassmen this year. I don’t think it’s a lot about scoring and leading in stats, but the attitude and being able to correct mistakes made on the court,” said Conaway.


‘It feels good to be able to step up and fill missing roles. Our team is a close-knit group and I know it feels good for the players that are out to have teammates to fall back on. Theron did a great job of handling the ball under pressure tonight, and it is always great to beat a crosstown rival,” said Akins.


“After my experience on varsity, it’s come clear to me that height is not the only factor in basketball. However, competing with players with such athleticism provides me with the kind of challenge that helps me grow as a player,” said Humphries.


Up next for the West Hills (6-3) is High Tech Chula Vista (1-7) at West Hills on Saturday.


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