Crosstown boys basketball once again was a high-intensity match between West and Tracy high schools.
West won it 59-55 this time on Friday, Jan. 10, at Tracy’s Bill Swenson Gymnasium, bringing the Wolf Pack its second win in three regular season game against the Bulldogs. The Pack (11-6) had to defend against a Tracy team (7-6) that nearly erased West’s 11-point third quarter lead and got within two points in the final half-minute of the fourth quarter.
West senior forward Alvin Crenshaw, the game’s leading scorer with 24 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, said he can always count on the Bulldogs to bring determination to the court.
“I felt that the fourth quarter, when they started coming back, we had to keep the intensity up because we wanted to take this home for West High,” Crenshaw said.
“It feels good to come out on top. They’re a good school and they always bring good competition. They always play hard and I love playing them.”
Tracy’s leading scorer, junior Kharyem Watson, scored 18 points, including three slam-dunk layups that fired up the capacity crowd in Swenson Gym.
“We for sure had to bring energy because we knew it was going to be a close game, and knew it was going to come down to the last shot,” Watson said.
Teams traded the lead four times in the first quarter, with one of Watson’s dunks at the end, and West answered with senior Anthony Ross’ 3-point shot to make it 15-13 in West’s favor to end the first quarter.
The Bulldogs pulled ahead by six points in the second on Watson’s shots and two 3-point shots from junior Druce Asah. West’s Crenshaw hit his shots as the Pack came back for a 30-29 lead at the half.
West held the lead for the rest of the game, with sophomore Isaiah Grady and senior Kenneth Thompson hitting 3-point shots when Tracy threatened to close in.
West coach Derek Sprecksel also credits Thompson for defending against Tracy’s Asah, who scored 11 points for the Bulldogs in the first half but none in the second.
“I try to bring my best defense because I know Druce is a good player,” Thompson said.
At the end Tracy seniors Damon Stroup and Josh Brakkee scored to get the Bulldogs within two points, and West grabbed the four-point lead after senior Kenneth Daye pulled in a rebound and passed up the court to Crenshaw, who slammed the ball through the hoop to finish the game.
Tracy’s Brakkee finished the game with 10 points and 12 rebounds and senior Devin Foster collected eight rebounds. West got 10 points and six rebounds from senior Alfonso Brown, Crenshaw had 10 rebounds and Daye pulled in nine rebounds.
The win puts West at 2-1 in regular season games against Tracy. Tracy beat West 69-68 in the championship game of the Stagg tournament on Dec. 7 and West beat Tracy 65-64 in the Tracy Winter Holiday Classic on Dec. 14. West also beat Kimball 71-60 on Dec. 13 and beat Kimball again 74-66 on Jan. 3.
West junior varsity also beat Tracy on Friday 59-56.
Both teams start league competition on Wednesday, Jan. 15, with Tracy opening San Joaquin Athletic Association play at home against Franklin and West opening Tri-City Athletic League play at McNair High in Stockton.
Kimball 61, Oakdale 59
The Jaguar boys were undaunted by Oakdale’s early lead and brought home a 61-59 win in in the second game of Valley Oak League play on Thursday, Jan. 9.
Oakdale was ahead 29-21 at the half. Kimball (12-3, 2-0 VOL) closed in during the third quarter and went on to outscore the Mustangs (1-10, 0-2 VOL) 22-14 in the final frame.
Leading the Kimball offense was senior Ben Juarez with 17 points. J.D. Schmidt scored 15 and Jonah Laguana scored 13 for the Jaguars.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.