Vista's season ends with loss to Lindhurst

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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Vista del Lago’s season came to an end Friday night, losing on the road to fourth-seeded Lindhurst, 79-54. The Eagles, 14-15 on the season, got off to a slow start and never really were in the game after falling behind. The Blazers played good defense and held Patrick Lowman to 14 points and used their athleticism to their advantage, pounding the offensive boards and scoring a slew of second and third-chance points that helped them pull away throughout the game. The Blazers also shot the ball well from long-range, hitting 10 three points in the game, seven by Devin Ward. “We knew their calling card was their pressure defense and they took Pat out of the game early,” Vista coach Matt von Tillow said. “He gets everything going for us and creates shots for the other guys and they feed off him. All the credit goes to Lindhurst. They’re a good team: athletic and balanced and you can’t just take away one guy. They’re all about 6’3” and they all hit the glass.” Lowman did all he could and had to work hard for his 14 points. Drew McPherson picked up the slack, finishing with a team-high 19 points. Jake Duenkel finished with nine and Ian MacLachlan ended with seven. Offensively, the story of the night was Lindhurst’s Devin Ward. He came off the bench and led the team with 23 points, 21 of those coming on three-pointers, many from a good two to three steps beyond the line. Ward was consistent throughout the night too, knocking down two in the first quarter, three in the second and two more in the third. The Blazers finished with four players in double digits. Behind Ward came James Trujillo with 20 and Cedrick Thomas and Miguel French, who scored 14 points apiece. Thomas fittingly finished the game with a big dunk, sending the hometown fans into hysteria. Duenkel’s three cut an early Blazer lead to one, 8-7, but Lindhurst finished the quarter on a 14-7 run to take a 22-14 lead. Unlike Wednesday night in the win over Weston Ranch, the Eagles were cold from the field and a couple turnovers along with some hot shooting from the Blazers saw them pull away. For all intents and purposes, the Blazers put the game away in the second quarter. Ward knocked down three threes in the first 4:10 of the quarter, as the Blazers opened up a 36-20 lead. If Vista had thoughts of making a run in the second half, Lindhurst ended that by scoring the first eight points of the third quarter. After the game von Tillow addressed his team for the last time telling them he was proud of them. “I told them that I hoped they learned a big lesson about the season, realizing the hard work and effort it takes to compete and win games,” von Tillow said. “That lesson translates into their life beyond basketball as well. If you don’t work hard you’re going to fall behind. “I told them that I was proud of them. After a 0-10 start, they didn’t put their heads down and they kept competing and turned the season around. I think I got the most of what I could out of them. I’m happy and satisfied with their effort.”