Big win for Vikings
BARSTOW • The Barstow Community College men’s basketball team is set to go on a run.
After losing their first two Foothill Conference games of the season, the Vikings have now won two in a row. On the heels of last Saturday’s 84-68 stomping of College of the Desert, Barstow hosted Mt. San Jacinto on Wednesday night and held on for a 68-62 win.
The Vikings, who went into the match with records of 3-12, 1-2, took down a team that was 14-4, 2-1. It was close throughout, with the home team down by a point, 29-28, at halftime.
The Vikings had their game working at both ends of the court and kept their opponent on its toes, said Barstow head coach Reggie Howard.
“We played great defense. We switched up from a 2-3 zone to a 1-3-1,” he said. “We used multiple defenses and threw them off balance a little bit.”
The Vikings held a slight lead through most of the second half. Evan Jenkins drained a 3-pointer with just under 30 seconds left, which turned a three-point Barstow lead into six points, enough of a cushion for the Vikings to protect.
Jenkins finished with 12 points and six assists, and also ran the point for much of the game and was “very steady”, according to Howard. Emani Gant led the offense with a double-double, 21 points, 10 rebounds, and Shey Mataele had 15 points and six boards.
Defensively, the Vikings held the Eagles’ Dwayne Benjamin, who averages 15.4 points per game, to two points.
“We did a great job stopping their leading scorer, and we created 22 turnovers to their 17,” said Howard. “Our assistant coach Laurence McClery did an excellent job calling defensive assignments in the second half.
“This is a big win. It keeps us in the hunt.”
The Vikings are at home Saturday, hosting Chaffey College for a 3 p.m. start.