Varsity boys basketball defeat South Hills

Bruce Nguyen, Staff writer

Varsity boys basketball defeated the South Hills Bulldogs Wednesday, Jan. 11. The final score was 75 points to Walnut and 33 points to South Hills. The varsity boys basketball’s total league score is now 18 wins and 2 losses.

Starting in the first quarter, Walnut played hard against South Hills, walnut there first three points of the game, scored by point guard senior Malik Khouzam’s 3-pointer shot. After the first three points, the Mustangs started to find their rhythm as they executed multiple plays and steals against the Bulldogs. Ending the quarter with a complete score of 24 points Walnut and 7 points South Hills.

“We knew we were going to come in, handle business and just win. [So in] the first half we started blowing them out [with our jump shots and 3-pointers],” Khouzam said. “We [also] kept getting steals and kept hustling to get the lead.”

Moving into the second quarter, the Mustangs started to pick up more momentum against the Bulldogs, with many steals and interceptions against South Hills. Walnut was able to gain the lead and pull further ahead in points. Point guard senior Joby Barnes led the charge after scoring an impressive lay-up while getting fouled. Causing the final score of the half to be 47 points Walnut and 11 points South Hills.

“When I had that fast break [and made the lay-up], I felt really excited [and] confident that I could make another one,” Barnes said, “The ball movement and our movement is [why] we scored most of the points [in the first half]. We also had good defense.”

After the halftime performances from Walnut’s Competitive Cheer and Dance Team, the crowd was energetic and ready for the next half: what they didn’t expect was guard senior Calvin De Jesus, who came in freshly off the bench for the first time in the game.

As the third quarter began, Walnut became pressured by the Bulldogs’ new determination to win. Unfortunately for them, they were met with the tough defense and hit with a hard counter, with De Jesus leading the counter attack. Hitting not one, not two but three 3-pointer shots in a row, causing the gymnasium to erupt in cheers.

“I am always ready to come off the bench whenever the coach needs me, so when I was put in and made those three shots, [that made] the crowd and everybody erupt. It became a fun feeling and definitely a memory I won’t forget,” De Jesus said. “It felt good [knowing] the crowd was behind me.I felt like everyone was showing love and support, so I will never forget this once and a lifetime experience.”

The final quarter ended with the Mustangs’ constant hustling, shooting and defending. With multiple lay-ups and 3-pointer shots from our point guards, as well as great team plays and fast breaks against the Bulldogs leaving them in a daze,Walnut finished this game with an impressive 42 point lead against South hills making the official score 75 points Walnut and 33 points South hill.

“We just wanted to come out and play, play good defense and start the game playing fast and together we did that,” Head Coach Joe Khouzam said. “I thought we got after it on defense, had good steals and a lot of transition points and some good defections, which caused us to go out running, giving us some easy buckets.”