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Villa Park rallies, knocks off No. 5 Foothill
VILLA PARK - It was a second half to forget for the fifth-ranked Foothill boys basketball, but it was just the opposite for Villa Park.
The Knights took an eight-point lead into halftime, but the Spartans, on the strength of a plus 13-point third quarter and some key shooting, left the court with a 58-53 victory in a Century League game Wednesday night.
Villa Park (12-4, 2-0) outscored Foothill, 36-23, in the second half.
“We didn’t make a lot of shots in the first half,” Villa Park coach Kevin Reynolds said. “We struggled and I thought we had some easy shots. I thought we needed to do a better job of guarding them (Foothill) in transition."
Foothill (14-2, 2-1) led, 30-22, at halftime.
“Our three keys coming out (for the second half) were: We needed to outrebound them in the second half, keep them out of transition and we needed to do a better job executing and finishing plays,” Reynolds said.
In the third quarter, Villa Park shot 10 of 17 from the field (59 percent).
Casey Hershfield helped lead the rally with 10 points in the quarter, including pair of big 3-point field goals. Center Lamont Tyler also scored six points in the quarter.
The Spartans outscored the Knights, 23-10, in the third to take a 45-40 lead into the fourth.
“He hits three or four 3’s every game,” Reynolds said of Hershfield. “He makes shots. We like having him because he spaces the floor for us, especially with the big guy (Tyler in the middle).”
Villa Park stretched its lead to 49-40 early in the fourth quarter. Foothill cut the score to 51-48 on a 3-point basket by Justin Davis, but couldn’t get any closer.
Davis led Foothill with 14 points.
Hershfield, who came back out for basketball after two seasons in baseball, finished with 19 points.
“They kept leaving me open,” he said. “The shots are not always going to go in, but you got to keep shooting.”
Kevin Olsen added 15 for the Spartans. Tyler had 10 points and six blocks.
The teams will meet again Jan. 25 at Foothill.
“Nice to be 2-0 in the league and nice to be a ranked team,” Reynolds said. “I think we’ve been struggling a little bit to get some respect in the league, everybody is talking about Canyon and Foothill and nobody is really talking about us much.
“We wanted to make a little bit of a statement that we’re going to challenge for the league title also."