EL CENTRO- The Southwest Eagles protected their home court on Monday night in El Centro, punishing the Yuma Criminals 42-26, in Boys Varsity Basketball pre-season play.
Taking flight early in the first quarter, Eagles forward (#24) Emmanuel Lopez converted his squad’s opening six points on a driving lay-up from the left side, a pair of free-throws, and a back-door cutter to take a quick 6-2 lead.
Southwest forward (#3) Tyler Saikhon provided a spark of energy for the Eagles when he closed out the first quarter with three steals, four points, and an outlet assist on a scoop lay-up to shooting-guard (#1) Eric Pompa to lead 14-2.
The criminals were only able to net five total points in the second quarter due to the convocation of swarming Eagles that resulting in (#1) Pompa, (#10) Joaquin Perez, (#12) Jesus Macias, (#20) Nathan McFadden, and (#32) Edwin Mungarro all each snatching steals in the second period.
Eagle guard (#20) McFadden came off the bench to score two quick buckets on a slashing drive followed by a spin-move in the open court resulting in an uncontested finish. Point-guard (#5) Cameron Jungers found his rhythm after putting down two free throws right before the half, then adding a finger-roll to go into the intermission Southwest up 24-7.
Forward (#25) Grant Hansink was on the receiving end of two quick dimes by (#5) Jungers, the latter being a well placed alley-oop to give Southwest a 28-9 advantage midway through the third quarter.
(#3) Saikhon dropped in two more layups and guards, (#20) McFadden and (#15) Ryan Silva each supplied scoring drives of their own, the Eagles nesting a comfortable 36-17 cushion at the end of the third.
Fatigue set in on both teams in the fourth quarter as the offensive execution was replaced by free throw attempts and shot clock violations.
The Eagles were able to maintain their lead and sore past the Criminals, scoreboard reading 42-26, Southwest, at the final buzzer.
“I’ll take the win. I feel that we still have stuff to work on. We don’t play again until after Christmas. We’re going to get back to work tomorrow,” said Southwest Eagles boys varsity head coach, Ruben Valenzuela.