East County Sports

RedHawks get win on new home floor

Mountain Empire debuts its new court.



By Dave Dickens



PINE VALLEY (1-11-2022) — As the Mountain Empire RedHawks are back in action, after a long winter’s nap if you will. It has been approximately three weeks since the last game played, which was in fact their last game played at their temporary home at Greenfield Middle School, as did their varsity girls basketball team as well.


What a beautiful, top-notch, quality flooring finally unveiled in front of home fans, and how exciting it was for the RedHawks to finally be able to utilize their own home gymnasium to bring home even more excitement for the host RedHawks (6-4, 1-0 in the Pioneer League) in a 62-47 over the visiting High Tech Mesa Thunder (1-9, 0-2 in the Pioneer League).


Not to sound redundant, but last year’s Mountain Empire boys basketball squad has long been forgotten, as the 0-9 2020-21 squad has been transformed into a 6-4 overall talented team.


Athletic director and varsity basketball coach Bernard Vann has really turned things around for this small high school, tucked away in a small Pine Valley farm town into true competitors.


Mountain Empire has won three of their last four games and is quite the exciting lower-division team.


The RedHawks had to shake some of the rust out, as they were down 12-7 in the first quarter, to come back in the second quarter, 17-15, to close in on the Thunder, down 27-24 at the half.


High Tech Mesa kept it close, however, Mountain Empire led in the third quarter, 18-14, then ran away with it, shutting down the Thunder in the fourth quarter, holding them to six, and the RedHawks’ offense put up 20 points to put the game on ice, 62-47. 


Clearly, the player of the game was Albin Acevedo with 7-0f-14 field goals, 2-of-22 free throws, 11 rebounds, one assist, and five steals.


“We were excited to play on our new court because we wanted to be the first team to win on it. It was also a big deal since it was the first league game. Playing on the new floor was similar to trying on new shoes. There was a larger crowd because it was our first, true, home game. Everyone was having a great time out there, so it was a great team win,” said Acevedo.


Lukas Spencer always makes his presence felt in all games. Spencer was 6-of-10 on field goals, led the team with 13 rebounds, two steals, and two blocked shots. 


“It was a close, hard game throughout, but we broke away in the fourth quarter,” said Vann.


 Even after a long vacation, the RedHawks look like they never missed a step.


 Up next for Mountain Empire (6-4) at Monarch Royals (0-0), their first game of the season on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at noon.


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