Junior Kole Gaglio scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in a 5 minute span during the fourth quarter on Tuesday night as the Hilmar (10-5 overall, 2-1 TVL) High Yellowjackets defeated Mountain House for their second consecutive Trans-Valley League win, 58-52.
“It was a close game and I know we needed to get some easy buckets and we ran some great plays to get into the post and I just tried to lead us to the victory,” said Gaglio.
“That Mountain House team is really quick and I don’t think we expected them to put so much pressure on us like they did,” said Hilmar head coach Paul Willis. “I was just glad we came out with the win.”
The victory also marks the first time that the Hilmar varsity boys basketball team has started 2-1 in league since the 2009-10 season, when the team went 7-1 after its first eight contests.
Hilmar has also won four of its last five games, including a 7-2 record over the last 9 games.
After three league games, the Yellowjackets are now just two wins away from tying last year’s win total.
“I know we have matured more and we are starting to share the ball effectively and play more as a team and I feel we are 10 times better than last year for sure,” said Gaglio.
Hilmar took control early on in Tuesday night’s game going up 25-15 in the first quarter, but MH rallied to an 8-3 run to make it 28-23 mid-way through the game.
There was only a five-point difference heading into the fourth quarter before Gaglio checked in and provided a spark.
Gaglio drained a corner three to begin the fourth quarter and just two minutes later Hilmar had its largest lead of the game at 12 with 6 minutes left in regulation.
MH went on a 14-6 run to cut the lead to three but Hilmar made 6 of 9 free throws down the stretch in the closing two minutes to secure the team’s second league win to begin the year.
“Team basketball helped us win tonight… we shared the ball well in the fourth and came up with some big shots and pulled through at the end,” said Gaglio.
Alec Cano had 13 points and Nino Ta-a finished with 8 points. Mountain House knocked down 8 threes for the game while Hilmar only made three for the night.
“We made those crucial free throws and so it was good,” said Willis. “One of the things we need to do well in order to win games in the TVL is make lay-ups and free throws and I thought we did it well.”
Hilmar’s next play an exhibition game on the road against Livingston at 7:30 p.m. today.