East County Sports

Norsemen sweep series from Pack

Valhalla at the line against West Hills on Tuesday. / Dave Dickens



By Dave Dickens




SANTEE (2-1-2-2022) — If you have spoken to most of the players, coaches, parents, or any of the West Hills Wolf Pack fans, they will tell you that they are the “Road Dogs,” or in laymen terms, they have played closer and won more contests on the road than in their home gym.


It also doesn’t help when the club just lost three straight, however, they have played very talented squads Granite Hills (16-5, 5-2 GHL), Grossmont( 13-11 ), ( 5-1 ), and Tuesday night at home to Valhalla (12-10, 3-3 GHL), they also happen to be leading them in league play, as well.


Once again the Norsemen, 52-43 on Jan 18 on the road, played competitive in a hostile environment, yet in their own back yard after just five games later, played flat, to sum it up, being decimated in their own gym, 65-41. 


As always, the Pack kept it close in the first half, and were smothered offensively in the third quarter, interestingly enough is heac coach Tim Barry’s key to winning, win the third quarter, and you have a shot, especially if you are playing good basketball in the first half.


Valhalla led from the very beginning, 17-11 in the first quarter, and down by 10, 35-25 at the half. Always listening for fans, the Pack fans were not silenced, but not as energetic as previously experienced earlier in the season. Just ask Barry about the noise level at one of their foe’s gyms, Granite Hills is incredibly loud and full of energy and excitement.


The third quarter is when the wheels came off for the Pack, down 51-29. Valhalla played incredible at the boards, steals, and at one point, three three-pointers, a couple off of turnovers.


West Hills did regroup and put up 12 in the fourth after being held to just four points in the third quarter. Max Conaway hit a couple of buckets in the fourth, however, the Pack had run out of  time, had some great layups as well, just being shut down and Valhalla adding three more three-pointers to put away a contest that was already out of reach for West Hills.


It is okay to be considered the underdog in the league of the elite, but it is imperative they take one here and there and maybe sweep one of the clubs somewhat or close to their equal.


All things considered, Conaway had a decent game on the evening and played hard, as they all usually do. Conaway had eight two-pointers and was 2-of-2 at the foul line, for 10 total points.


“Tonight was a tough one. Valhalla really took it to us and we were just flat,” said Barry. “So many close battles without a ‘W’ can be deflating and tonight it seemed to take a toll.


“Still proud of my guys because they have done what I have asked all year. Play hard and love each other. Friday is a new game.”


“I think we just have to figure out how to make our offense work better and really come together as a five man. Winning on the road is just easier for us for some reason, so I’m hoping we can really make a final push before the playoffs,” said Conaway. 


 Up next this Friday, Feb. 4, the Wolf Pack (12-10) will host the Mount Miguel Matadors (4-18).


West Hills has a chance to sweep the Matadors as they defeated them 67-36 at the Matadome in mid-January.


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