HS Basketball: Murrieta Valley Comes from Behind to Slip Past Chaparral 71-69 in the Southwestern League Opener

Temecula Valley Beats Great Oak 68-63 and Murrieta Mesa Falls to Vista Murrieta 59-57 in Two Overtime Games

Sparks were flying in the Southwestern league. There were three basketball games on opening night and the margin of victory in all three games was just nine points. Murrieta Valley trailed all game long to come from behind to slip past Chaparral in the final minutes of the game.



In the battle of last year’s Co-Champions, Temecula Valley edged Great Oak, recently ranked number 15 in the CIF Division 2A Polls, 68-63.

Murrieta Mesa got off to a slow start in the first half last night and just couldn’t put away Vista Murrieta.  Ranked 11th in Division 2A, the Rams fell to the Broncos 59-57 as Vista Murrieta outscored the Rams 8-6 in the overtime period.

The Pumas showed a look last night. Chaparral, under second year head coach Askia Geigle, came out and were running away with the game. Their tough, tenacious defense and well balanced offense had the Nighthawks baffled for three quarters.

Leading 56-44 at the start of the final frame, the Pumas just fell apart.

Murrieta Valley exploded for 27 points in the quarter to make up the 12 point deficit to pull off an emotional, improbable win. Niccolo Giulietti scored 9 points, Ryan Larson 8 and newcomer Damion Ruiz, a freshman transfer, playing in his first game for MV, nailed 2 three pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Nighthawks to victory.

Giulietti ended the game with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Ruiz finished with 14 points, Larson and Kyler Anderson had 9 points each and Anthony Montion 5. Kyle Greely scored 3,while James Karban and Hudson Bower had 2 each.

“I have to give credit to Chaparral” said Murrieta Valley head coach Brian Wethers. “The came out and battled from the start to finish and I really think they


are going to shake up the league this year. Our guys did a great job adjusting. It was a good lesson for us in our home opener. I’m proud of our team for fighting and keep fighting for the win”.


The Pumas had four players score in double figures. Jacob Draeger led Chaparral with 16 points. JJ Johnson, Johnathan Galan and Elijah Mays had 12 points each. Nathan Martin just missed double figures with 9 points. Bryan De la Torre added 5 while Jake Schmidt and Oliver Wilson scored 2 apiece.


Southwestern league action continues on Friday as Temecula Valley hosts Murrieta Valley, Murrieta Mesa travels to Great Oak and the Pumas take on the Broncos at home.


Chaparral             13   24  19  13   69

Murrieta Valley  10  16   18  27   71


Murrieta Mesa     7    9  17  18  6  57

Vista Murrieta    17  17  13   4  8  59


Temecula Valley  19  15  10  16  8   68

Great Oak              13  20  11  16  3   63

Photos By Charles McKee