Tigers take photo finish over Mustangs

SJ boys basketball narrowly edged out West Valley last Tuesday, 54-48

■ Corey Evan / Reporter

Many times on the basketball court, there is a distinct difference in team size. At San Jacinto High School on Tuesday Jan. 9, the boys basketball team came out in big numbers to try to beat West Valley. With 13 healthy players, the Tigers had the eight Mustang boys outnumbered. A healthy crowd stuck around after the ladies’ game, and they were in for a good one.
The two teams proved they were excited for the challenge, engaging in a tug-of-war with the ball that lasted for almost three minutes before the Mustangs drew first blood. With the Tigers dropping in 10 points to West Valley’s eight, it had already started shaping up to be an exciting match!
The excitement continued into the second period, as the Tigers brought in 22 points and the Mustangs got 19. With just five points in between these teams, the second half would prove crucial.
Through a barrage of fouls on both sides of the court, the Mustangs narrowed the gap to just 1 point in period three. It was too close to call, even at this point!
The final period saw the Mustangs catch up with the Tigers, taking over the lead at the 6:20 mark. They would hold onto it for two minutes, until the Tigers took advantage of a Mustang foul to take the lead back. The Tigers would finish the job from there, taking victory from the Mustangs, 54-48.
Coach Will Farley acknowledged that this game is part of the learning stages for his team. “We have three freshmen on the team, so just to get them to understand just high school basketball,” said Farley. “They have a ways to go. But we have a number of guys that really stepped up today and I like that defense on the court. But there’s so much to improve with these guys.”
Farley also tipped his hat to West Valley. “I’m most impressed with the Mustangs. They’ve got a good core leader group and they’ve also got a great coach.”
The game gave San Jacinto a record of 4-10 for the year, 1-1 in Mountain pass League. The Mustangs have 7-10 and 0-2 themselves. The Tigers took a beating by Hemet, last Thursday night, 64-35. Can’t win ‘em all, you know.

Photo by Corey Evan / The Valley Chronicle
Action shot taken as the Tigers fended off the Mustangs last Tuesday.

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