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SULTANS WIN END NEW YEAR’S CLASSIC WITH RIVALRY VICTORY

EASTCOUNTY BOYS PREP BASKETBALL

BY ADAM PAUL

ECPREPS.COM

NEW YEAR’S CLASSIC

PHOTO BY TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

 

SANTANA 52, WEST HILLS 44

In front of an electric crowd as both sides of the stands were packed with fans from both schools and a great student section the Santana Sultans raced from start to finish to the victory over their cross-town rival West Hills.

Early on the Sultans streaked out to a 6-0 lead before the Wolf Pack would put their first points on the board. Behind Brandon Simmons and his 8 points, the Sultans would eventually lead 15-2 after the first period. Defensively the Sultans were able to force the Pack into many bad shots and also were able to control the boards.

Leading by a wide margin the Sultans were able to keep the pressure on the Wolf Pack as they eventually stretched their lead to 20-8. West Hills, unfortunately, would only score a couple more points over the final couple of minutes while the Sultans behind a trio of three-pointers would lead by one of their largest margins 29-9.

PHOTO BY TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO BY VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

West Hills made some adjustments to start the second half and actually showed some life as they nailed a couple quick three-pointers to pull within 29-15 and would add another basket to start out on an 8-0 run and trail 29-17 in the first couple minutes of the third quarter. However, the Sultans answered with a couple of baskets to lead 33-17 and would lead 37-20 heading into the final quarter.

West Hills was able to outscore the Sultans 34-24 in the second half and hold them to only a couple of baskets in the fourth quarter. The Wolf Pack in the final minutes tried for a last gasp as they put the pressure on the Sultans and forced quite a few turnovers and were able to capitalize with points and actually pulled within 52-41.

But the Sultans were able to withstand the final push from the Wolf Pack to claim the victory.

Scoring for West Hills was Ashton Avestro who led with 11 points as he scored 10 of them in the fourth quarter, Kyle Dobyns scored 10 points before fouling out in the third quarter and grabbed 3 rebounds while r and Michael Totah who was held to 7 points on the night.

For the Sultans it was Simmons who led with a monster of a double-double consisting of 14 points while hauling in 15 rebounds, he also dished out 3 assists and had 3 steals and blocked 2 shots, Ben Hart contributed 13 points while grabbing 9 boards and had 2 steals and an assist, and finally the player whom coach Barcelona calls monster and big X-FACTOR Jake Kelchner who scored 9 points while grabbing 3 boards and also had an assist and a steal.

The victory for the Sultans over the Wolf Pack was their first since the 2010-11 season when they finished 19-9 and were Co-Champions of the Valley League with Mount Miguel.

“It feels really good and we are super pumped to beat West Hills at home in front of our fans, this time we came prepared and I feel going into league we have a really good team and this just gives us more confidence.” Said Brandon Simmons when asked about the victory and what it meant to beat West Hills for the first time since 2010-11 and also what does it do to the team heading into the start of league play next week.

“It was an exciting game and the atmosphere was incredible. It is great to come together as a community. This victory I believe gives the guys more confidence and a high going into league. El Cajon Valley is very tough and we will come back and prepare for them.” Said Santana Head Coach KB Barcelona.

With the victory, the Sultans have now won four games in a row and improve their overall record to 6-10 while West Hills falls to 8-6 with the loss.

The Wolf Pack have one more non-league game on Tuesday as they face Victory Christian before they start league play in the Hills side on Friday against Steele Canyon on the road. Santana, on the other hand, starts Valley League play on Tuesday at El Cajon Valley which will have a 6 PM tipoff time.

WEST HILLS VS SANTANA PHOTO GALLERY 

Click link above to see all photos from the big game.

SANTANA NEW YEAR’S CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

LARRY OLDHAM III – VICTORY CHRISTIAN

JORDAN GAINES – VALHALLA

KHALIL WYATT – CENTRAL UNION

MCKAY ROBERTS – GRANITE HILLS

KYLE DOBYNS – WEST HILLS

BRANDON SIMMONS – SANTANA

HUGO C. – CALIPATRIA

TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS

VALHALLA

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