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Cougars pounce on the Warriors, 70-58 - Bashara dunks 33 of Fallbrook's 58 points

On Wednesday, Feb. 3, the Fallbrook boys’ varsity basketball team hosted the Escondido Cougars. The Warriors looked to bounce back from a Mission Hills loss. Escondido possesses arguably the best player in the county, Joe Hudson. The star and the rest of his Cougars proved too much for Fallbrook as the Warriors fell 70-58.

In the opening minutes of the contest, Hudson quickly made an impression knocking down two three-pointers from deep behind the arc. Fortunately for the Warriors, Danny Bashara answered the challenge as he helped his team keep up with the high-powered offense of the Cougars. Fallbrook’s point guard, Taylor Berryman, capped a quality first quarter with a buzzer-beating jumper to put the Warriors ahead by one.

The slim lead was soon erased as Escondido regained momentum with its extraordinary perimeter shooters. However, Bashara continued to rack up points for the Warriors. Rebounding was an evident weakness for Fallbrook as the Cougars dominated the boards. At halftime, the Warriors trailed 31-25. Seventeen of Fallbrook’s points came from Bashara.

In the third quarter, the Warriors’ rebounding problems continued as Escondido thrived off the second chance points. Turnovers held Fallbrook from establishing a rhythm on offense. As for the Cougars, Hudson created open looks for his teammates with his ability to drive the ball and shoot at his leisure. Escondido led by seven points at the end of the third quarter.

The Fallbrook players showed tremendous will to stay in the game. However, the combination of turnovers and the inability to rebound ultimately kept the Warriors from closing in on the Cougars. Escondido continued to score by hitting high-percentage shots. With much attention focused on Joe Hudson, Nathan Urquhart consistently hit open shots. The Warriors found no luck as they lost, 70-58.

For Escondido, Hudson finished with 24 points and Urquhart had 19. Hudson entered the game averaging 25 points per contest.

Warrior Danny Bashara was the leading scorer of the game with an outstanding 33-point performance. Fallbrook’s Brian Gordon had a quiet night with two points. The Warriors were reluctant to talk about the disappointing loss.

Fallbrook coach Jeff Brandow said, “Our kids played really hard. They really wanted to win and I’m proud of the effort. We didn’t rebound as well as we would’ve liked; we turned the ball over a little bit too much. It’s a learning process. The kids are learning how to play varsity. Escondido is a very good team and Joe Hudson is one of the best players in the county. I’m proud of the way we played, but we have to do the little things better to win these games.”

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