East County Sports

Wolf Pack hand Chieftains rare loss

West Hills' Jake Kelly. / Vic Marano




By Dave Dickens




CLAIREMONT (12-16-2021) – The West Hills Wolf Pack is 4-2 in the month of December thus far, and this was one of those defensive wins, much needed. A fantastic rebound game after a heartbreaking overtime loss versus High Tech San Diego, a big game that the Pack could have used, in a big way.


A road game at Clairemont (9-1), a great situation for West Hills? Record wise on paper, it was not in the Pack’s favor.


A determined, defensive-minded West Hills squad was on a mission, protect and create defensive plays that turn into offensive buckets.


Enter the first quarter, the host Chieftains would experience the focus and determination of the visitor’s to the tune of a 10-5 opening first quarter win that would grow into a Wolf Pack schooling of the Chieftains, scorching the hosts, 23-6 in the second quarter, for a 33-11 halftime lead. 


What a difference to have Luke Gibson back in this already tight and talented line-up.


Offensive and defensive, the Max Conaway and Gibson train put up a combined 23 of the 33 points scored in the first half.


It also doesn’t hurt when you have two phenomenal rebounders with great reach and speed, so don’t let the score tell the whole tale as those points were mostly due in part to the defensive press that overwhelms and creates the turnovers that then evolve into what was seen in the first half.


Coming out hard after the intermission, the Pack was right back on track, doing a knockout job grabbing boards, and a few steals here and there is becoming somewhat of a Wolf Pack staple as of recently.


West Hills, with another successful winning third quarter, one in which will always be remembered, head coach Tim Barry has always believed you win the third quarter, the chances of winning the game are pretty much in your favor, 20-13, Pack, leaving the score 53-25, heading into the final quarter.


As Coach Barry is no different than most coaches, when up by a large margin, and the defense was stout, start rotating the bench, keeping those players fresh and also keeping them focused, as they could end up playing a complete game in a blink of an eye should a starter go down at any time.


The final quarter would dictate that the score of the fourth quarter was still won by the visiting Wolf Pack, 12-7.


West Hills won this one, in particular, being spectacular grabbing boards, final score, Pack 65, Chieftains 31.


Gibson had eight field goals, made 4-of-4 free throws, grabbed six rebounds, and had 19 total points, and his teammate that makes up the terrifying tandem, Conaway, also had eight field goals, along with nine rebounds, and 17 total points.


Let it be known, there is much more talent than just the two mentioned that helped West Hills make it to the 8-4 mark, including, but not limited to Jake Partington, Jake Kelly, and Theron Humphries, who added four rebounds, as well as, Jacob Bedore with four rebounds and six total points.


“The Pack continues to lock up on the defensive end with yet another win over Clairemont. Right now, this is the best defensive team I’ve had since coming back to high school, if our offense can catch up, we should be okay,” said Barry.


Up next for the Pack, a Liberty Charter team that is much different at 1-9, as last year they even knocked off a great Granite Hills team, but were absolutely dismantled by the Eagles on Wednesday night. Tip-off scheduled for Dec. 17 versus Liberty Charter at 5 p.m. at West Hills, Should be a practice game for the Wolf Pack.


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