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By Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent 

Boys basketball victory over San Pasqual avoids winless season for Warriors


Last updated 3/1/2019 at 10:46am

Fallbrook High School’s boys’ basketball team broke losing streaks of 32 consecutive games and 15 consecutive league games Feb. 1, when the Warriors defeated San Pasqual High School by 60-49 in Fallbrook.

“It’s big for those guys,” Fallbrook coach Ryan Smith said.

A 67-48 loss Jan. 30 in Ramona gave Fallbrook a season record of 0-23 including 0-7 in Valley League play. The Warriors had led several Valley League teams and other teams during the season, but with only eight players, the starters rarely left the court and fatigue caused Fallbrook to lose leads as well as games.

“It came down to depth,” Smith said. “We got tired in the fourth quarter.”

The only player the Warriors lost to injury was senior Malachi Gordon, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament a week before the season began, but other team members played through lesser ailments.

“I feel like it’s injuries that hit us hard,” Smith said. “We had little nagging injuries.”

The inability of the starters to rest kept those injuries from being fully healed.

“I could tell that their bodies were worn down,” Smith said. “They never used it as an excuse. They played hard the whole entire year.”

During the first round of league play Jan. 23 at San Pasqual, the Warriors led by two points with three minutes left in the game before the Golden Eagles overcame the deficit for a 71-66 win. In the Feb. 1 rematch at Fallbrook, the Warriors built up a 25-point advantage.

“We finally had enough of a lead that we just couldn’t blow a 25-point lead,” Smith said.

Mission Vista High School rejoined the Valley League for the 2018-2019 season. The Timberwolves were in the Palomar League during the 2017-2018 season, so Fallbrook’s Jan. 10, 2018, home game against the Timberwolves was a non-league game which ended as a 50-41 Warriors victory. Fallbrook had a 4-20 record for the 2017-2018 season while losing all eight Valley League contests. John Kroeger was Fallbrook’s coach in 2016-2017, when the Warriors concluded their season with a 62-45 home win against San Pasqual.

Smith replaced Kroeger for the 2017-18 season, so the 2019 triumph over San Pasqual was Smith's first league win as a coach. "I'm proud of the boys and how hard they worked," he said.

Valley Center won a 69-60 contest Feb. 6 in Fallbrook, and the Warriors concluded their season Feb. 8 with a 63-52 loss at Mission Vista. Fallbrook thus finished with a 1-25 overall record and a 1-9 league mark.

"It was only one win, but the boys were happy to get that done," Smith said.

"The kids never quit," Smith said. "They competed to the end.”


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