Bob McPhail 6:31 a.m., May 19
Wolverines use big third quarter to knock off Falcons on home court
CARMEL VALLEY – In its Palomar League opener, Westview quickly ushered in a changing of the guard. The Wolverines beat defending league champion Torrey Pines 67-54 on Tuesday night, handing the Falcons their first league loss at home in four seasons.
“We were confident that we could come in here and win,” said Westview senior forward Sam Okhotin. “The outcome isn’t that shocking for us. We had a good gameplan coming in and we just executed it.”
Westview (14-4, 1-0 Palomar) fell behind early and trailed 21-17 after the first quarter. Midway through the second quarter the Wolverines went on an 8-0 run to grab the lead, and the visitors held a 33-30 advantage over Torrey Pines (10-8, 0-1) at halftime.
“We had the lead at halftime, so we definitely had the confidence that we were going to close it out. Coach gave us a few tips and emphasized the gameplan one more time,” Okhotin said. “We wanted to jump on them early in the third quarter.”
In the third quarter, Westview quickly extended its lead and stayed in front with outside shooting and solid defense. The Wolverines held Torrey Pines to four points and made four three-pointers in the quarter, including a half court buzzer-beater by senior forward Patrick Govea that made it 50-34.
“That was huge for us,” Okhotin said. “That gave us a lot of momentum going into the fourth quarter and really got the fans going, too.”
Torrey Pines trailed by 18 early in the fourth quarter, and rallied quickly behind pressure defense. With 2:36 left, the Falcons made it 59-52 and Westview called a timeout to regroup.
“We just had to take care of the ball, not take bad shots, and just stay calm,” Okhotin said. “We knew we were going to get good shots if we ran our offense.”
After the timeout, Westview scored two quick baskets to squash the Torrey Pines comeback attempt. The Wolverines’ 13-point win snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Falcons.
“We believe that we can win and I think everyone now sees that Westview is not a sleeper – we’re going to be contenders in the Palomar League,” Okhotin said. “We’re in it to win it.”
Okhotin and Govea led Westview with 19 points apiece, and four Wolverines finished in double figures as part of a balanced attack. Westview has won six straight games and is starting to look like team that can make some noise in a loaded Division II.
“We have a lot of talent on this team and we’re a good shooting team, so when we shoot the ball like we did tonight it’s going to be hard for anyone to stop us,” Okhotin said.
Three players finished in double figures for Torrey Pines, led by senior guard Joe Rahon (18 points). The Falcons swept through the Palomar League last season and have won league titles each of the past five seasons.
Westview – 67 (17-16-17-17)
Govea 19, Okhotin 19, Watkins 15, Pineda 12, Williams 0 (staters) McWilliam 2
Torrey Pines – 54 (21-9-4-20)
Rahon 18, Galvin 15, Murray 14, Milmoe 5, Worman 2 (starters)
Pictured: Westview forward Sam Okhotin keeps the ball away from Torrey Pines guard Garrett Galvin (10) and forward Sean Milmoe (34) on the perimeter