Vista drops third straight game, in fight for playoff berth

By: Brett Ransford/Telegraph Correspondent
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The 2011-12 season will be remembered as a season of streaks for Vista del Lago’s varsity boys’ basketball team. The Eagles (5-3 in league, 9-14 overall) started the year with 10 straight losses, followed by nine out of 10 wins and then three straight losses, the last coming Friday at the hands of Sierra Valley Conference leading Cosumnes Oaks, 69-41. As good as Vista del Lago had things going to start league play, winning five straight games, the Eagles have lost it and have been less competitive in three straight games. After losing a nail-biter to River City, 61-60, the Eagles have lost to El Dorado, 61-52 and then to the Wolfpack in a game they were never in. Vista plays the two teams at the bottom of the league this week, on the road today at Galt and at Liberty Ranch on Friday. They beat both teams the first time they played them and desperately need to beat them this time around to stay in the race for the league title, as well as a playoff berth. Six different Cosumnes Oaks players scored at least eight points in a balanced and overwhelming offensive game, in which Vista went down by as much as 18 points in the first half. The Wolfpack got its revenge for a previous one-point upset loss to Vista, but only squashed Vista’s hopes for the win – not of making playoffs. “We thought we were going to win,” said Vista’s Drew McPherson, who again led his team in scoring alongside Patrick Lowman. Both players scored 13 points. McPherson scored 22 points the first time the two teams played. “We’ve got four games left and a shot to make playoffs, so we’re just going to go from here. [The loss] is disappointing, but we’ll get into practice and get ready for these next four teams,” said McPherson. The circumstances in which Vista could make the playoffs are not yet dyer, but dropping to the middle of the SVC pack certainly didn’t help its chances. The loss was Vista’s worst point margin so far in league. Scoring didn’t exactly come easy against Cosumnes this time around. Vista scored 16 points from the foul line on a solid 16-of-23 shooting night. Early on it appeared whichever team was going to start missing three-pointers would probably struggle. Cosumnes hit 4-of-7 in the first quarter toward a 22-10 lead after just eight minutes of play. Vista made 2-of-4 in the first and 2-of-5 in the second, but couldn’t find as many in the second half. Cosumnes held its opponent to 10 points in the first and third quarters, but did its best work allowing a meager seven points in the final quarter. There were only two other Vista scorers – Tyler Jones had six points, Mitch May had two.