Vista Murrieta remains perfect in league play, 53-47

By Tim Sahar Vista Murrieta High School remains the top dog in its league after out-shooting Great Oak Wednesday night in a tight finish...

By Tim Sahar

Vista Murrieta High School remains the top dog in its league after out-shooting Great Oak Wednesday night in a tight finish, 53-47.

Coming off their victory over St. Bernard on Saturday, Vista Murrieta kept on rolling with aggressive play style from their guards and forwards by attacking the basket and out-rebounding the opposition by a wide margin, 34-22.

The Broncos got excellent play from Michael Carongcong (12 points), Brandon Newble (10 points) and Nate Duran (9 points and 8 rebounds).

It was a pretty sloppy first quarter for Vista; the Broncos missed four open layups on plays where they forced contact on their defender but didn’t get the benefit of the doubt for a foul call. However, it was in the second and third quarters where the Broncos showed parts of their true potential, as Carongcong kept the tempo going and effectively distributed the ball to the rest of his teammates.

A factor in Vista's success in the second and third quarters was Great Oak's inability to make shots. Great Oak’s deficit was increasing late in the third quarter, where at one point, they were down 12 points with barely any chance of a response. Then junior guard Jacob Rodriguez got hot and went on a tear.

Rodriguez caught fire, scoring all of his 19 points in the second half and slowly cut Vista’s lead from 12 points to 2. The Wolfpack kept running the same play every possession where two players would set screens to free up Rodriquez for a wide-open 3-pointer. He buried two of them along with easy drives to the basket without any hesitation.

Although it could have been easy for the Broncos to become distracted from their own formula for success and simply give the game away to Great Oak, a quick timeout from coach Andy Rucker with 3 minutes left seemed to get them back on track.

In the final minutes of the game, Vista Murrieta didn’t look back from their 2-point lead and did exactly what gave them such a huge advantage from the start -- attacking the basket. Carongcong had two clutch plays where he drove the ball inside, collapsed the defense and kicked it out to Ravi Alston and Jalen Newble for dagger 3-pointers, giving the Broncos an 8-point lead with under 2 minutes to play.

The Wolfpack (9-11) would answer again with another Rodriguez score, but time was certainly not on on their side. Having to revert to playing the foul game with under 30 seconds remaining, Vista was able to knock down their free throws down the stretch to secure their 3-0 league record.

Vista Murrieta (16-2, 3-0) will now head to Temecula Valley Friday night to truly test their skills.




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