Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Fallbrook boys basketball's season ends in CIF semifinals

Jeff Pack

Staff Writer

Last year they won one game all season. A year later, the Fallbrook Union High School’s Varsity Boys Basketball team fell just six points short of going to the CIF San Diego Section Division 5 Championship game when they lost 50-44 to Classical Academy on Thursday, Feb. 25 at Fallbrook High.

After senior Joel Calhoun tied the game at 36 apiece just after the fourth quarter began, the Caimans pulled away gradually by making big shots and making free throws down the stretch.

The No. 1 seeded Warriors finished the season with an 18-9 record, their best record in some time.

In the quarterfinals on Friday, Feb. 21, senior Cooper Sherman scored 30 points by making 14 shots from the field, including one three-pointer, to lead the No. 1 seeded Warriors boys varsity basketball team to a 77-58 win over Vincent Memorial at Fallbrook High School.

“We got up like 24 points in the first half at one point and kind of let them crawl back in,” head coach Ryan Smith said. “They got within like 10 or 12 in the third quarter and then we pushed it right back up to about 20. Then we're up 24 and I put some of the JV kids in and they got a couple of layups. It went really well though because we just took care of business early and even though we had a little bit of a bad stretch, we were so far ahead at that point that it was hard for them to overcome.”

Not to be outdone, Cooper’s senior co-captain, Calhoun, hung 27 points on Vincent Memorial while dropping four three-pointers in the game. Junior Yoni Villagran scored all nine of his points by making three three-pointers and Steve Fuentes added one in his five total points.

“We ended up pressing a little bit, which we haven't been able to do in the league because everyone in the league are pretty good ball handlers,” Smith said. “I noticed early that they didn't handle the basketball very well. So we started impressing and we got a lot of easy points. We scored 42 points in the first half, which is really, really good for us. A lot of that was from our press got us really easy baskets and it got us a lot of confidence early.”

The win sent the Warriors (18-8) into the semifinals to take on a Classical Academy a team they previously lost to 53-48 back on Dec. 14, 2019. In that game, Cooper and Calhoun were held to 13 and 19 points respectively.

“They're still a good team,” Smith said prior to Tuesday’s semifinal game. “I feel like that might've been our worst game of the season. We shot like 22% on open shots when we played them. It was just kind of a bad week for us. We'd gone 6-0, played Sage Creek and got beat by 20 and just kind of were hanging our heads a bit. I don't know what it was. We were just hanging our heads and came to that game kind of a little bit deflated.”

This time around, the Warriors came up short against the Caimans again, ending their season.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]


Reader Comments(0)