FOR THE VALLEY CHRONICLE
Tavien Richardson got hot, burying a couple of three-pointers and when the first quarter came to a close, the Bulldogs had forged a 16-16 tie. And before the night was over, the Bulldogs seized control and saddled the Mustangs with a 60-40 Mountain Pass League loss on Jan. 26 at Hemet High School.
The win was huge for Hemet, giving the Bulldogs a 2-4 league record with four games remaining. West Valley meanwhile evens out at 3-3. The win keeps Hemet in contention for third place in the league, which if the Bulldogs can snare it, would earn them a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AAA playoffs.
What is remarkable about Hemet’s recent turnaround is that they have knocked off two of the better teams in the Mountain Pass – and both by 20-point margins. Along with West Valley, they defeated Tahquitz 66-46 two nights earlier. And just a couple of weeks prior, West Valley had beaten the Bulldogs 81-53.
But this time around Hemet was a different team – especially in the second half. At the intermission, the score stood tied at 23-23. But from the opening seconds of the third quarter, Hemet took control: Lanky senior guard Logan Sadler buried two long treys and scored underneath to help give the Bulldogs a 14-point lead at 41-27 at the end of the quarter.
And the Bulldogs didn’t let up in the fourth. Sparked by three baskets from Jimmy Tellis and two more three-pointers from Sadler, the Bulldogs were never threatened down the stretch.
For Hemet, Sadler and Richardson led the way with 16 points each, while Kristopher Acevedo scored 8, Tellis 6, Marcus Patterson and G. Sherrard 5 each, and Andrew Pendleton 4. Fabian Mendez led West Valley with 17 points, and Brian Ellis, Oscar Quezada and Robert Edwards had 5 each.
The Bulldogs finish league play over the next two weeks. They played Citrus Hill and Beaumont – tied for first place with 5-1 records - this week (no score available at press time). And next week, play at San Jacinto on Tuesday and host Tahquitz, Thursday.
West Valley took on Tahquitz and San Jacinto this week, and finish up with Citrus Hill and Beaumont next week.