Mustang boys felled by the Titans

WVHS Senior night game vs. Tahquitz, 95-51

Photo by Corey Evan / The Valley Chronicle
Mustang Senior Victor Brizuela defends against Titan Senior Dwight Garnett.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

When you’re a senior in high school, your last impression is just as important as your first impression. That was the scenario for the basketball boys of West Valley High School on Thursday, Feb. 8 as they welcomed the Tahquitz Titans to their “senior night” game. This year, the Mustangs graduate these four seniors: Victor Brizuela, Jason Cayton (jersey number 55), AJ Fisher and Team Captain Ben Navarro. With friends and family cheering them on, the boys got going for what would be their final game as a team.
The Mustangs would take the 1st point of the game from a Tahquitz foul, only to have the Titans bolt ahead of them. The first period practically belonged to Tahquitz, 27-6.
The Mustangs would do better in period two, scoring 18 points. But the Titans were way out in front, having added 28 points to their count. Would the Mustangs be able to recover from a deficit of 31 points? Not quite, it would seem. The Titans only put greater distance between themselves and the horses in period three. Here, Tahquitz picked up a whopping 45 points against West Valley’s 15.
Tahquitz took it easy in the final period, picking up just five points as they assumed victory for the game. While the Mustang boys added 12 points, the clock just ran down too quickly for them to do any further damage. The Titans banked this game 95-51.
Mustang Head Coach Chris Brooks says that while the Titans played well, his boys just threw in the towel a little too soon. “With the emotion of the game, [and this being] their last game, when they got down they kind of got down on themselves knowing that their season comes to an end,” explained Brooks. “We have more seniors than any other grade level on this team, so when they found that they were getting beat, they kind of just shut down.”
On the other side of the court, Titan Head Coach Brad Smith thought the Mustangs were a good opponent. “They played hard and played well,” said Smith. “Them and their coaching staff tried to keep up with us and it just wasn’t their night.”
Here’s how the Mountain Pass League basketball boys stacked up for 2018:
West Valley ran in a total of 0-10 in league, 7-18 for the season.
The San Jacinto Tigers would take home a tally of 2-8 in league, 5-17 overall.
The Hemet Bulldogs had more of a mixed season, bringing in 5-5 in league and 10-15 all games considered.
With their latest win, The Titans finish up the season with 6-4 in league and 15-9 for Tahquitz.
Beaumont takes silver in league with 8-2 and 21-6 for the Cougars.
Citrus Hill squeezes the 2018 league championship from the Mountain Pass, going 9-1 and 20-6.
Tahquitz, Beaumont and Citrus Hill all move on to CIF playoffs. Updates on CIF progress will be given as soon as they become available to publish.

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