Tiger and Bulldog boys take it to the wire

The SJHS Boys Varsity Basketball team narrowly defeated Hemet, 52-50

Photo by Corey Evan / The Valley Chronicle
San Jacinto’s basketball boys celebrate a narrow win against Hemet, 52-50.

■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

There are times where the phrase “Don’t blink” should be taken literally. Friday evening in the Tiger Gymnasium was one of those times.
Following a basketball blitz by the Lady Tigers against Hemet, it was the boys’ turn to have a go at the visiting rival Bulldogs. And the two teams fought like cats and dogs, before a huge crowd made up of Hemet and San Jacinto fans alike.
From the tipoff, it was apparent that both teams were hungry for blood. The Bulldogs drew first blood with the first point, followed quickly by the Tigers’ first three-pointer. It soon became a tug of war with the ball, with both teams chipping away at each other and plenty of wood flying both ways. But after one period, Hemet had a slight edge on San Jacinto, 15-13.
Through the second quarter, both teams evened fouls (eight apiece) but Hemet continued to take a fast break ahead of San Jacinto 29-23 before the two teams took a “fast” break.
The Tiger boys would prove to have learned from such an intense first half of gameplay, dropping in 15 points in the third quarter and keeping Hemet from getting in more than nine in the same time frame.
With the score at 38-all, the crowd was fired up as the fourth period got going. In the final minute of the game, the scoreboard reflected how crazy the atmosphere was at San Jacinto High School, 51-50. But not content to win by one, the Tigers chose to win it by two, or 52-50 to be exact.
The top contributor of the day was Xavier Brooks, who dropped in a whopping 20 points including half a dozen three-pointers!
For Coach Willy Farley, this was a much-needed win. “It was a good win, considering last year they got us pretty good. We did our homework, they guys are much older, much more mature now. And you could see the character in them, that’s definitely a good team win for them. The fans were awesome, too.”
Coach Farley also noted that this was his team’s first win against Hemet in 10 years. No wonder the San Jacinto crowd was in a frenzy!
“Take your hat off to Hemet, they were really prepared for it,” Farley says. It’s good to hear a coach commending their competition’s efforts, it really is.
For now, this narrow win is a shot in the arm for the gentlemen Tigers, helping level their season record to 7-7-0, 2-0-0 for league. Let us hope that the Tigers, and their Titan competition at Tahquitz this Friday evening, can keep up. We need a good portion of those rabid Tiger fans to show up at Tahquitz to whip Tahquitz fans into just as much of a frenzy.

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