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Villa Park savors victory over No. 7 Foothill
VILLA PARK – Smiles reigned supreme on the faces of Villa Park’s boys basketball team at the end of Tuesday’s game against Foothill.
The Spartans tasted victory in a league game for the first time since 2014, their first in the Crestview League.
Evan Battey had 27 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks to lead the Spartans past the seventh-ranked Knights, 65-61, at Villa Park High.
“We were really happy,” Spartans coach Kevin Reynolds said. “We feel like that was a great team win for us because we had some guys that had to step up.”
Villa Park (15-9, 1-2) entered the game battling injuries. Point guard Myles Franklin was playing in just his second game back from an ankle injury.
After the Spartans erased a 35-26 second-half deficit, the Knights (16-7, 1-2) took a 42-40 lead on a pair of free throws from Rohan Rao. Franklin followed by drilling a deep 3 from the top of the arc with 5:20 remaining, and Villa Park led the rest of the way.
“Myles is a big-time player,” Battey said. “That 3 he hit was really big for us. It pushed our momentum back. I give him all the credit for playing on that sprained ankle right now.”
Battey took over from there. He scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, including back-to-back three-point plays inside of a minute to go, taking Villa Park’s one-point edge to 60-53.
“We know that we can rely on Myles and Evan even when they’re not 100 percent,” Reynolds said. “We know that they have the heart and the character to help us out.”