East County Sports

Patriots back on track, defeat Cougs

2021-22 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

CHRISTIAN 66, STEELE CANYON 40

 

By Dave Dickens

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON (12-15-2021) – After picking up their first win of the season, mauling Brawley, and after an outstanding performance against Sage Creek, losing by a mere four points, hosting a stellar Steele Canyon team (5-5) is not an easy task.

 

A similar situation evolved into a league championship on the other side of Spring Valley last year in which the Monarchs started off at 1-13, almost an impossible hole to crawl out of.

 

With only six games completed on a very young season, overcoming adversity by winning two of their last three contests, and with most of their teammates playing together for three years, the Christian High Patriots have the physicality and mentality to tighten up a few minor things and could be that team that surprises everyone and makes a run at the league title.

 

The Patriots also have the talent.

 

Not to discard the wins that the Cougars have posted thus far, however, the only team with a winning record they’ve beaten is the High Tech San Diego Storm in a 57-53 shootout, although it was still an impressive win.

 

In comparison, the Christian Patriots lost to teams right at the .500 mark and played Bishop’s (8-3), closer than expected, 50-39.

 

The teams appeared evenly matched but a few fouls both ways and mostly great defense on behalf of both squads, along with a few missed shots on both sides had the first quarter come to a close with a buzzer-beater to tie the host Patriots at 8-all.

 

Christian pretty much took over in the offensive department from the second quarter on.

 

It was still a very physically played game that included three technical fouls, two on behalf of the Patriots.

 

It seemed to be a lot closer than what appeared on the scoreboard right before intermission.

 

Christian won the second quarter 21-15 and had a halftime lead of 29-23.

 

The dynamic duo of Patrick Perez, who had the lead in scoring in the first half, and his partner, Ben Felice, who had eight points, delivered in the first half, as six of them came via the Three- Pointer, just their total was 18 of 29 scored in the first half.

 

As far as the visiting Cougars, Angel Raposa hit all nine points via the three-pointer in the second quarter, and Alex Jenkins had eight points, including one three-pointer and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, accounting for all but six points in the first half of play.

 

It was more than likely pointed out by Christian High head coach Tim Brown that the fouls needed to be eradicated or at least reduced considerably as these are exactly as described, free points.

 

Whatever was discussed, the Patriots came out fired up more so than at the beginning of the contest, as Felice continued with his end of the bargain, hitting two more three-pointers, Matteo Allieri came in with three field goals, and of course, the other half of the dynamic-duo, Perez, had a three-pointer, and two-point field goal.

 

As far as the Cougars, the defense of the Patriots became it seemed to be even more physical.

 

However, most of the scoring on behalf of Steele Canyon was still via free throws as a result of Christian fouls,

 

Camrien Hunt scored six out of the 12 total in the third quarter, with two field goals and two free throws, leaving another quarter, considering the fouls, another winning quarter for Christian, 21-12, and leaving the total score 50-35 after three frames.

 

Christian would finish it off especially with defense, only allowing five total points scored in the final quarter for the Cougars, two buckets, and 1-for-2 at the foul line.

 

Christian ultimately finished off the visitors in the fourth, scoring their final 16 points led by Hunter Provience with three buckets, and Minni Mesghenna with three buckets, as well.

 

As the Patriots had the final possession kept control of the ball as the seconds ticked away with a very impressive Wednesday evening crowd at the Ryan Center. 

 

The Patriots would celebrate along with their home fans a 66-40, convincing victory, one that they should build up the momentum for their next opponent.

 

The 2-4 Patriots will host the Calexico Bulldogs (4-4), and as Felice described that is where their focus is following the game.

 

Calexico is coming off two back-to-back wins, a 59-44 win over Imperial, and more recently won at Coronado 62-40.

 

This will be a home game at the Ryan Center on Friday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m.

 

**Please check out Patrick Perez And Ben Felice Post Game at the end of the highlight clips

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