Vista opens league play with upset of El Dorado, 73-68

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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The Vista del Lago’s varsity boys’ basketball team struggled through a difficult preseason with a 4-11 preseason record, but they put their right foot forward in the opening game of the Sierra Valley Conference on Tuesday. On the road at El Dorado against last year’s undefeated conference champions, the Eagles came from 11 down after three quarters to upset the Cougars, 73-68, to start the league season off with a dramatic victory. Patrick Lowman scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and Ian MacLachlan drained three shots from behind the arc to lead the Eagles to a 26-10 scoring advantage in the game’s final eight minutes, as Vista completed the shocking comeback. “It was a crazy game,” Vista coach Matt von Tillow said. “El Dorado is one of the top teams in the league and we had lost to them earlier in the Folsom-Vista tournament. In the fourth quarter we just started getting stops and Pat scored 11 points, while Ian had three threes. We just stuck to the game plan that we had gotten away from in the third quarter and we were finally able to answer a team after they went on a run, which is something we haven’t been able to do this season.” From the start of the game neither team could keep momentum. Vista led 21-9 after the first quarter, but a big second quarter by the Cougars brought them to within four points by halftime. In the third, it was all Cougars in a 33-18 advantage. “They just got really hot and made seven threes in the quarter,” von Tillow said. “Pat picked up two quick fouls and we had to sit him down and we struggled offensively.” The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Eagles, as they held El Dorado to only 10 points. Tyler Jones scored a late basket off a Lowman miss and Jake Duenkel stole the ball and made two free throws in the game’s final seconds to secure the win. Lowman finished the game with 27 points, while Jones and MacLachlan added 13. Duenkel scored eight, while Drew McPherson chipped in six. The Eagles now have six days to prepare for another top foe in the conference, Cosumnes Oaks, who they host on Tuesday. “We’ve got some time to prepare for them,” von Tillow said. “We haven’t had a home game in awhile and we should have some confidence heading into that game.”