Vista tunes up for league opener by beating Carlsbad

By Tim Sahar Vista Murrieta High School's boys basketball team edged out Carlsbad in the Valley Showcase Tournament at Temecula Valley...

By Tim Sahar

Vista Murrieta High School's boys basketball team edged out Carlsbad in the Valley Showcase Tournament at Temecula Valley Saturday night, 46-43.

The Broncos held on after Carlsbad's Jaylin Richmond missed a 3-point opportunity in the final seconds.

It was a tight game right from the opening tip, as both teams went back and forth to the end. Neither team could find its groove from shooting the ball long range, or even make multiple layups in a row.

Vista senior guard PJ Slaughter came to out play with 13 points and taking two critical charges. Senior forward Nate Duran, a constant savior for the Broncos on the offensive glass, scored 6 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Vista Murrieta (12-2) had a decent start to the game, with their normal ball movement and open looks from downtown, but they had a real tough time getting the ball in the hoop. Having lost in their previous game to Esperanza by double figures, the Broncos’ confidence looked a bit shaky.

The Broncos were leading after each quarter and were up by as many as 8 points. However, their lead saw a precipitous decrease in the second half. Meanwhile, Carlsbad (10-6) kept attacking the basket to either get to the foul line or dish it out to an open shooter. Carlsbad got its points much easier compared to the Broncos.

Jaylin Richmond flourished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists for the Lancers; Bronson Montgomery and Stone Stapleton scored 10 points each.

In the end, the difference between the Broncos and the Lancers was ultimately depth. Vista Murrieta had a balanced nine-player rotation, while Carlsbad struggled with only seven players actually playing. It looked like fatigue played the biggest factor for the Lancers.

The Broncos will now have some momentum riding with them, as they begin Southwestern League competition on Wednesday at Murrieta Valley.

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