Friday, November 27, 2015 • 01:00

Jaguars win two more in basketball, up league record to 5–1

February 06, 2013
As the varsity Basketball season heads into its final month, the Valley Center Jaguars are catching fire at the right time.

The Jags have won their last three games by a combined score of 215–115 and are scoring in bunches. Two of the three wins came on the road, including a huge win over rival Orange Glen on Jan. 25 and a very important three-point win over Oceanside this week. In between, the Jaguars hosted Mission Vista and easily ran away with a big win.

"It's a tough league for away games," Valley Center head coach Bob Purdy said after Friday's win at Oceanside. "It seems like every team we face will play extra tough when they're at home, and there's not any single team pulling away [in the standings]."

On the heels of the 74–22 obliteration of Orange Glen, the Jaguars hosted Mission Vista last Tuesday and put together a similarly dominant performance in taking an 85–40 win.

The contest was never in doubt, as the Jags put together a strong game on both sides of the ball against an overmatched opponent. In the end, Mitchell Rush led Valley Center with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Michael McInerny had 15 points and 11 assists, Brett Henderson scored 11 points and David Becvar had ten points.

Despite the back-to-back blowouts, and despite the fact that they had already beaten the Pirates 62–44 just five games ago, the Jaguars headed into Friday night's game at Oceanside knowing that they were facing a talented team that had just won three of its last four games.

The game turned out to be a back-and-forth affair right to the end, but Valley Center connected on its free throws down the stretch and held on for a 56–53 victory.

The Jaguars jumped ahead early, opening the game on a 5–1 run behind layups by Rush and McInerny. Oceanside fought back, however, and after the Jags pulled ahead 13–7, the Pirates rattled off the next eight points to take a 15–13 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Neither team could take a lead of more than two points through most of the second quarter until Oceanside broke out of a tie at 22 to score the next six points, giving the Pirates a 28–22 lead at halftime.

Valley Center virtually exploded out of the locker room to take the floor in the third quarter, and the high level of energy led the Jags on an 11–2 run that put them ahead 33–30 when James Schwindt knocked down a three-pointer early in the quarter. The Jaguars continued the assault on both offense and defense, as they finished the quarter with a 7–3 scoring run that gave them a 40–33 lead heading into the fourth. In one outstanding quarter, the Jaguars outscored the Pirates 18–5 and looked to be in full control of the game.

But Oceanside wouldn't go down so easily, as the Jags found out. The Pirates clawed their way back into the game using a balanced attack that alternated between long-range shots and taking the ball to the hoop. With just over four minutes left in the game, Oceanside had pulled back to within a point, 46–45, after sinking a pair of free throws.

The Jaguars didn't let them get any closer, though, as they sank five foul shots in the final minutes of the game and held on for the three-point win.

Henderson led the way with 14 points, while Rush and John Broomell each had nine, Schwindt had eight, Ryan Kleiman had six, and both McInerny and Becvar had five.

"We hung in there," Coach Purdy said after the game. "It could have gone either way, but these guys stepped up and got the job done at the end. They all played hard, and they're all working hard. It used to be just Brett [Henderson], but now teams can't just key in on one guy. It gives us a lot of flexibility."

The two wins this week give Valley Center a 15–6 overall record and a 5–1 league mark with five games left on the schedule.

This week, the Jaguars have already played at Del Norte on Tuesday, then they return home for a game against Ramona on Friday at 7 p.m.

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