East County Sports

Wolf Pack continue struggles at home

West Hills and Mount Miguel in a game on Friday, Feb. 4. / Vic Marano


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By Dave Dickens



SANTEE (2-4-2022) — Although the West Hills Wolf Pack have had most of their success this season on the road, you would figure, no disrespect at all to the Mount Miguel Matadors, but something had to give.


Really this was it for West Hills (12-11, 1-7 GHL) and to just try and gather a win or two to pay off or for all of Mount Miguel coach A.J. Stanford and his young men, and their hard work, sitting at 5-19 (1-7 GHL).


Mount Miguel was on an 11-game losing streak, and prior to tonight, their last win was over Foothills Christian, 63-60, back on Dec. 22. As for the Pack, four straight league losses.


West Hills’ last win was actually home against Clairemont on Jan. 24, 44-43. 


The Pack kept it close in the first and actually the Matadors were right on their tail, 15-11, Pack leading at the end of the first quarter. 


In the second quarter, it was really a game of cat and mouse, a few too many fouls on behalf of the Wolf Pack and a similar story it seemed for Mount Miguel, handing West Hills a few trips to the foul line, where unfortunately was somewhat the difference in the final score, as that has been the Achilles’ heel for the Wolf Pack, especially as of late.


The scoreboard read 26-22 at the break.


Hard to imagine what coaches Stanford or Tim Barry of the Wolf Pack could say to their teams except to finish strong, play with heart and integrity. Really not too much more to say when they are both looking up at Grossmont, Helix, Granite Hills, and even Valhalla. They both play in one of the toughest leagues in San Diego County.


Mount Miguel came out just a tad warmer than the Wolf Pack. Put up 17 points, and yet the Matadors once again gave away some possible free points at the foul line that could have cost them dearly. However, the struggle at the foul line is real for the Pack as they missed six free throws as a team in the third quarter, as the Matadors put up 17, including a three-pointer.


Even though the Pack still had a chance to win this as they were still up 40-39 heading into the fourth quarter, West Hills still getting fouled once again as the Matadors are just a very physical team, and a little younger yet. But the host Wolf Pack put up 19 points, only missing three of eight free throws. Once again, that home team that loves to play on the road, came up a smidge short, as Mount Miguel was fouled more than they had been all evening, put up three three-pointers, and 8-of-11 at the foul line, putting up their best performance at the end of the fourth, handing the Pack another home loss that they were so close, but yet so far away, 61-59 Matadors.


Max Conaway led the team with 13 points and 3-of-4 free throws, while Jake Kelly had 10 points.


“Congrats to A.J. and his Matadors, who played extremely hard. I’m completely disappointed that a game could ultimately be decided by a referee. I’m truly proud that my boys bounced back to take the lead but their guy, Jayson Brown, made a money shot to win it,” Barry said.


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