East County Sports

Pack fight through, Eagles finish strong

Granite Hills and West Hills in action on Tuesday evening. / Vic Marano


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By Dave Dickens



SANTEE (1-25-2022) — As the West Hills Wolf Pack have been doing through tournaments earlier in the year, prepare and play hard, a few of the Grossmont Hills League games will bounce their way.


It has been a tall order since last year, even more so considering the veteran players the Grossmont Hills League is chock-full of it. Not to discount the boy hoopsters from Santee, just a true test since the beginning of the season. The Jake Kelly, Jake Partington, and Luke Gibson show has been the featured trio, followed immediately by Max Conaway, but West Hills is a special group of fighters, and in most sports quite often referred to as the underdogs, and hearing it from them directly, the Pack love to be the underdogs. 


The first half appeared to be quite the duel in west Santee, as the visiting Granite Hills Eagles, however, flew ahead before the half, leaving the score 28-21 in favor of Granite Hills.


After an incredible game last Friday versus the Helix Highlanders, fighting to the very end, losing but 69-64, quite impressive, almost as impressive as the series sweep last season.


That being said, knowing how tough the Eagles have been in league play, knocking off the very team, the Valhalla Norsemen last Friday, and a team whom the Wolf Pack lost to last week, this would be a tough second half for the Wolf Pack, about the only real advantage, not playing in the Eagles’ gym, one of the loudest groups of fans this season hands down.


Let’s not forget the dynamic duo brothers of Granite, Tre and Derek Edmond, and the sophomore sensation on defense, Isaiah Hasten.


At the end of the second half, the Pack competed with the Eagles, losing only 34-26 in the third and fourth combined. 


Tre Edmond almost on cue, finished with 25 points, 4-of-5 free throws, eight rebounds, three steals, and a block.


“It was a great feeling to be out there with my brother putting up these big numbers. We knew they didn’t have that many shot blockers, and once their guy (Jake Kelly), fouled out, it was easier buckets in the paint. We did want to also speed up the game so we pressed for most of the third,” said Tre Edmond.


As always, as well, Hasten had 12 rebounds and four steals but also increased his offensive production to 16 points.


“We ran out of gas in the fourth, a five-point game, 41-36 to start, and lost Jake Kelly at the 7:40 mark with his (fifth foul). Two minutes later, lost Caden Akens to five fouls, and at that point just couldn’t keep up with them. Really tough night at the free-throw line really did us in,” said West Hills head coach Tim Barry.


Conaway put up four buckets and a three-pointer, 2-for-3 at the free-throw line, 13 points total.


Gibson put up six two-point buckets for 12 points, Partington put up two two-point buckets, a three-pointer, 2-of-4 at the free-throw line, for 11 points.


West Hills once again battled another league foe in three games, played tough, and the Eagles just keep adding to their winning total.


West Hills will face the Grossmont Foothillers (12-10, 4-0 GHL), an undefeated league opponent, and defeated the Pack at their gym, 51-41, about three weeks ago. They will play Friday at 7 at Grossmont.


Granite Hills (14-5, 3-2 GHL) will face the Mount Miguel Matadors (4-16, 0-4 GVL) at Granite at 7.


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