East County Sports

Eagles get big win over Foothillers

Granite Hills' Tre Edmond. / Vic Marano

2021-22 EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

 

By Dave Dickens

EastCountySports.com

 

EL CAJON (2-1-2022) — The Granite Hills Eagles have played three games in between the last time these two teams squared off, and the Eagles were successful in defeating all three teams.

Unfortunately, the Eagles lost on their home floor, in which they are all very proud of the strong home crowd support. The runner-up with the next closest hard-core loud supportive fans resides at Helix High.

With the crowd presence, a complete team loaded with talent, and great coaching staff, still ended up with the loss to the Hillers, 63-52. However, the Hillers were undefeated in league play, and are also loaded with talented athletes, and similarly great coaching staff. Grossmont came into this second matchup with the Eagles as their opponent had won three league games, as well as, a non-league game versus the Point Loma Pointers, 57-45.

The only difference is Granite had lost their first meeting with league foe Helix also on their home floor, 62-59, along with, of course, the previous meeting with the Hillers prior to this evening.

Let’s face it, the toughest thing to do facing a league opponent at any level is never easy to sweep.

Granite Hills head coach Dan Duffy was indeed well aware of that typical statistic and along with film viewing, and great practices, a game plan was created and would turn out to be just a hair better than head coach Jacob Ober and his staff.

Let’s not forget folks, even one of the most successful, and winningest coaches in professional sports, Bill Belichick, would assure you, you have to have the players that will execute the best game plan ever, or you will still lose.

On this particular evening versus these pesky Foothillers that had taken down the Eagles just a few weeks prior, were confident they would be victorious, returning the favor and handing a home loss to Grossmont.

But, we cannot forget they are undefeated in league play also, defeating quality squads.

Some might side with the fact that Granite had the better overall record at 16-6 as opposed to 13-11?

We could analyze the strength of the schedule and all those statistical numbers, however, so how about we just check out how great both groups played against each other.

The Edmond brothers, as always, in double digits scored 42 points of 55 total. The interesting thing about it is there were only three other players who scored in this tight match all the way to the end.

Starting with the always underrated and yet very important, too often overlooked, Austin Holt, who didn’t have a spectacular night but is always reliable and trusted by all of his teammates to be clutch when called upon.

On Friday evening, Holt had four points, 2-of-2 at the foul line, three assists, and three rebounds, not a spectacular night by the numbers but very effective on the floor in this game as well.

Lawond Zangana had five points, 3-of-4 from the foul line, five rebounds, an assist, and a steal, but most impressive and vital to the stellar defense, six blocked shots is very impressive indeed.

You definitely don’t hear about T.J. Wing as often, as he added four total points. 

You can’t just focus on the offense that the Edmond brothers always bring to the table, even though that is the biggest asset they bring to the table.

Derek collected five rebounds and four steals, as his older brother Tre was, and usually is, extremely reliable at the foul line as he was 6-of-7, with four rebounds, four steals, and a block.

The young, up-and-coming athlete, Isaiah Hasten ruled the boards with nine rebounds and a block. He is definitely a superstar on the gridiron and on the court. 

The Eagles went on to get the win at Grossmont in a very tight match claiming a 55-52 victory.

“The stat sheet couldn’t honestly tell the whole story in this one. It was more on the mental side. I noticed that we started to get flustered on the offensive side because their defense was giving us trouble with setting up our plays. So I suggested we switch up the defense in order to create a more fast break offense. Other than that it was just a great team effort in which everyone played their heart out. We want it and we are gonna get it,” said Holt

“Tre was definitely one of the stars of the game, playing perhaps the best game of his career. Derek always has a great night, as well, no question, about almost every game. Austin Holt handled the ball well and was steady throughout,” said Duffy.

“Coach said it was the game of my career because I was calling all the plays and defenses for us and bringing up the overall energy of the team. I knew it was a big game for us and I did not want to lose. Austin Holt did a great job at handling ball pressure and being in the right place,” said Tre Edmond.

It doesn’t get any easier from here as the Eagles travel to battle the Highlanders again at their place which tends to be similarly loud, but not quite Eagle-style loudness yet.

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