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Villa Park finds way to collect first victory
MISSION VIEJO — Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds said his team was still searching for its identity. Well, the Spartans might have found it.
Villa Park notched its first victory of the season Thursday night, beating Temecula Valley, 77-72, in a Diablo Inferno tournament game at Mission Viejo High.
“We’ve been struggling to get our identity,” Reynolds said after his team's victory. “Luke Selway plays football, so he comes to games but never practices, but I think we’re going to be alright.”
Selway led the way for Villa Park (1-3) with 19 points, while Lamont Tyler added 15 and Casey Hershfield pitched in 16, including four 3-pointers.
Villa Park showed no signs of an identity crisis in the first half, taking a 46-30 lead into the break paced by 14 first half points from Tyler.
Temecula Valley (1-2) picked up its energy and defensive pressure to begin the third quarter, catching the Spartans on their heels.
The Golden Bears forced Villa Park into three consecutive turnovers and three consecutive missed shots to open the second half. Meanwhile, Temecula Valley scored 14 consecutive points through the opening six minutes of the second half to cut the lead to just two points.
Selway stopped the bleeding with back-to-back buckets, and Hersfield's 3-pointer put the Spartans back on top, 53-49.
“We’re not used to playing with a lead,” Reynolds said of Villa Park’s third-quarter struggles. “They (Temecula Valley) picked up their intensity and we didn’t match it again until the fourth quarter.”
The fourth quarter went back-and-forth with Temecula Valley cutting the Villa Park lead to just two with 30 seconds to play.
The Spartans connected on 5 of 6 free throws in the final half-minute to secure their first victory of the season.