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Metea Valley rocked Oswego East 73-52 on Tuesday in a nonconference tilt, hitting shots from all over the floor and playing tenacious man-to-man defense. Playing their third straight game without senior Melvin Meeks (ankle), the visiting Mustangs (17-9, 9-3) snapped a two-game skid and improved to 16-9.
“We’ve been beating ourselves up a little bit because we lost a couple close ones to good teams that we feel we gave away,” said senior Sean Davis who scored ten points in the first quarter and finished with team-high 19. “We came out firing on all cylinders and got after it.”
The Wolves took the beating this time. Metea Valley collected 11 steals, shot 53 percent and blocked five shots. After trailing 5-0, the Mustangs stampeded back with a 20-10 run to close the opening stanza.
Davis buried a three-pointer on an assist from Connor Archey with 33 seconds left and added an old fashioned three-point play with .2 seconds when Nick Dodson gathered a steal and dished to Davis for a 20-15 lead. Davis helped stretch the margin to 26-15 with a pair of baskets from the post while 6-foot-10 Hayden Barnard (12 points) added a putback.
Oswego East (11-14, 7-4), committed eight turnovers in the second quarter and fell behind 36-25 at the intermission. Six different Mustangs scored in the quarter as they crashed the boards, stepped in passing lanes and distributed the ball.
“It’s like a domino, one person starts doing good and everybody takes off after his lead,” Davis explained. “Playing defense and you see someone get a steal, you want to get a steal, get in the passing lane and make shots.”
That was demonstrated just before the intermission when Derek Coleman (three assists, three steals) intercepted a pass and fed Vin Patel for a layup. Patel scored 12 points while the Mustangs bench chipped in 28 points. C.J. Vaughn notched a game-high 22 points despite being hounded all night.
“We came out with that sense of urgency,” said Mustangs coach Bob Vozza. “They brought it tonight.
“[Vaughn] is an outstanding player,” Vozza added. “We threw Trayvond [Taylor], Derek and Marquell [Oliver] at him. We didn’t want him to get going and get their confidence going.”
While Vozza said he could never relax as the Wolves are capable of scoring in bunches, the Mustangs delivered the knock out punch late in the third quarter when they ended the frame with a 10-1 run.