Vista Murrieta boys basketball team knocks off Great Oak in Southwestern League action – Press Enterprise

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MURRIETA — The start to Tuesday night’s Southwestern League opener was not what Vista Murrieta boys basketball coach Daniel Carlin was looking for, as his squad fell behind by as many as 16 points before rallying to win on a Brody Guinn 3-pointer with less than five seconds left.

In the two days between games, Carlin’s message to his team was to play with the confidence that 18 wins, three tournament titles and four tournament championship game appearances brings.

Friday night, the Broncos heeded Carlin’s words of wisdom. Vista Murrieta outscored Great Oak 20-6 in the second quarter to take a double-digit lead into halftime and eventually prevail by a score of 58-41 against the Wolfpack, who shared last year’s Southwestern League championship with the Broncos and Murrieta Valley.

“We came out playing not to lose on Tuesday and I basically told the guys that they needed to play like the team they were in the couple of days leading into this game,” Carlin said. “I can coach this group harder than any other team I’ve had here because I don’t have to worry about how they’ll take what I’m saying and they’re willing to work, I’m not surprised we’ve gotten here this fast.”

Vista Murrieta did not win a Southwestern League game in the year before Carlin’s arrival and had an overall record of 8-19 during that 2019-20 season. The Broncos registered 23 wins each of the past two seasons.

Dario Johnson scored five straight points to give Great Oak (12-6, 0-2 in league) an early lead before Vista Murrieta scored eight of the next 10 points to tie the game at 8 with a minute left in first quarter play. David Ruth and Cisco Munoz hit a pair of 3-pointers for the Broncos (19-1, 2-0) during that push.

However, Johnson’s basket at the buzzer gave Great Oak a 10-8 lead after eight minutes.

“We definitely had some jitters on Tuesday night, especially in that first quarter, but after the third quarter we embraced the challenge of pulling ourselves out of that hole and willing ourselves to win that game,” Munoz said of the comeback. “Some of that momentum and adrenaline definitely carried into tonight because we were amped up for this game and it showed in the way we played tonight.”

In the second quarter, Vista Murrieta went on a 14-2 run covering nearly five minutes to take a 22-12 lead. Will Antista scored four straight points to start the quarter, and Brody Guinn scored four of their last six points in that run. The Broncos did most of their damage in the paint to take a 28-16 lead to intermission.

Great Oak never got the deficit smaller than 13 points in the second half, and now faces a two-game deficit in the Southwestern League standings while Vista Murrieta continues what is the best start in program history.

Donovan Ford, Guinn, and Munoz each finished with 12 points for Vista Murrieta, while Johnson led the Wolfpack with 12 points.

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