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Oilers grind out win

In a low-scoring affair, Huntington Beach boys' basketball team defeats Fountain Valley, 49-41, in Sunset League opener.

January 06, 2012|By Mike Sciacca
  • Huntington Beach's Harley Ruder goes up for a shot as Fountain Valley's Sean Finley, left, and Josh Armstrong try to block him a during Sunset League game at Huntington Beach High School on Friday.
Huntington Beach's Harley Ruder goes up for a shot… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Fountain Valley never found its rhythm Friday. Huntington Beach wouldn't allow it.

Playing tough defense and taking advantage of a cold-shooting night by the visiting Barons, Huntington took a 49-41 victory on the opening night of the Sunset League boys' basketball race. The Oilers led from wire-to-wire, maintaining a five- to nine-point spread much of the way and leading by as much as 12 points in the second half in picking up their 10th victory of the season.

Friday's opener also had the Oilers (10-6) playing together as a full squad — something that always hasn't been the case this season.

Fountain Valley, which lost its second straight game this week, fell to 11-5.

"When we have everybody healthy and playing, we haven't lost yet this season," said Huntington Coach Fabian Luna, whose team has been hit by injury and illness several times earlier in the season. "We knew (Fountain Valley) would be a good team, but I felt good about our chances coming into tonight. We have played some really good teams this season and we felt we were ready for league.

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"I thought our guys did a great job and I credit our defense. We place an emphasis on contesting shots and we did that tonight. They (Fountain Valley) have three guys who can really shoot the ball and I thought our guys did a real nice job of taking away the perimeter."

The Oilers did take away the perimeter and even took away Fountain Valley's inside game. The Barons, who also suffered through a poor-shooting night on Wednesday in a 62-47 loss to Westminster,  were just 15 of 53 from the field. They weren't any better from the free-throw line, either, making just four of 14 attempts and missed the front end of several one-and-one situations.

"You can't shoot like that and expect to win," Fountain Valley Coach Roger Holmes said. I figured if we scored over 55 points in league play, we'd be all right. But we never got into any type of groove tonight.

"It's frustrating because we didn't make plays and we kept giving up 8- to 10-point runs. Then, we'd cut it to four and have the ball and a chance to get closer, but we'd miss an easy shot. Huntington played a good game, but I think this (loss) had to do more with us than them."

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