December 12, 2017. Escondido, CA. – The Cougars and the Norsemen met twice last year and each one took away a win on their home court. The game on Escondido's court was a particularly close contest - the Cougars clawed their way from behind to capture the lead with only 40 seconds remaining. Would this year’s game be another intense match?
Valhalla (2-3) struck first as 6’5” senior Sultan missed a three then came back with speed down the middle for a layup. Sultan would go on to make 8 of his team’s 10 points in the quarter. Escondido (4-1) started slow, then six different players scored a total of 10 times in the last 14 possessions of the quarter to give them a 21-10 lead.
Escondido continued its hot streak by scoring on 11 of the first 12 possessions in the 2nd period, 5 of those scores coming from Green. Midway through the 2nd period, the Cougars had a 29 point lead and were dominating both ends of the court. The Norsemen kept battling; Yousif and Dirkes each dropped two 3-pointers before the end of the period. Escondido led at the half, 47-24.
Valhalla continued to chip away at Escondido’s lead. Yousif put in another two 3-pointers and Sultan added 8 points. For the Cougars, Hutchinson and Sauls dropped in 4 points each and by the end of the third period, Escondido still held a 19 point lead.
In the fourth period, 6 Cougar players scored – Hutchinson and Duben had 4 points each. For the Norsemen, all of their 7 points came from Sultan. Escondido finished strong and the final score was 78-49.
On the night, Escondido’s Green had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Sauls had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 1 assist. Hutchinson and Landry had 12 points each. The team scored on 48% of its field goals – the best shooting so far this year. For Valhalla, Sultan had 25 points and Yousif had 12.by Rick Jones