East County Sports

Close one but Hillers sweep Pack

Grossmont and West Hills during the first meeting in early January. / Vic Marano



By Dave Dickens



EL CAJON (1-28-2022) — Was this a bit of deja vu?  It definitely was when it surely came to the thoughts on behalf of the West Hills Wolf Pack?


More than likely before tip-off the thought was, ‘we need to win this one. West Hills (12-9), (1-5 Grossmont Hills League), faced off against the Grossmont Foothillers (13-10, 5-0 GHL).


In the last matchup in Santee, West Hills started the contest on a 12-2 run, and turnovers late led to an eventual comeback win for the Hillers. However, it was still a very competitive game.


On Friday, Grossmont came out firing and was already ahead eight points over the Wolf Pack in the first quarter, 18-10. Senior Cole Barnett had three buckets leading the Hillers’ attack with six points.


There were also quite a few fouls called in the first quarter, the majority called on the Hillers.


Both squads were putting up double-digit scoring, this time led by the Pack in the second quarter, by a slim 15-11.


Jake Kelly being Jake, added nine points to that 15 point total for the Pack, adding a three-pointer, as well.


The score at the half was a nail-biting 29-23 in favor of the host Foothillers.


Both squads came out exchanging scores, as they both totaled 11 points each, as the defenses were keeping it close along with both squads going to the foul line, however, the Pack charged with a few more fouls than the Hillers.


Freshman River Elliott put up four points and was 2-for-3 at the free-throw line, while surprise, surprise, Kelly with a pair of buckets and 1-of- from the foul line. The score was Foothillers 40-34 over the Wolf Pack at the end of the third quarter.


As the Pack played tough through the fourth, they also took the fourth quarter, 14-13.


Kelly also led the scoring for the Pack in the fourth with six points as he hit a pair of three-point shots.


West Hills played another tough hills team for the second time as they are also undefeated at the top of Grossmont Hills League, Grossmont winning this one, 53-48.


The Pack put up another great fight against the Hills league top team but fell five points short.


Tough start down 10-0 in the opponent’s gym with a raucous student body, but fought back and stayed in it the whole way.


Kelly put up 20 points and Luke Gibson chipped in 10 while controlling the Pack team.


“I’m real proud of the boys’ efforts, just want them to get over the top on one of these hard fought games, they deserve it,” said West Hills head coach Tim Barry.


“I believe the key to turning these close ones is to cut down on turnovers and to box out better. If we can do those things I think we can beat any team,” said Gibson.


Next up for the Wolf Pack (12-9, 1-5 GHL) at home versus Valhalla (11-9, 2-2 GHL) on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.


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