Boys Basketball: Golden West, Exeter combine for one win at Polly Wilhelmsen Tourney

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By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

VISALIA – Now in its 67th year, the Polly Wilhelmsen is still considered by some to be one of the toughest tournaments around. That statement holds true for the likes of Golden West and Exeter. Both teams combined to win one game over the four-day tournament.

“We wanted to do a little bit better, but this is the toughest field from top to bottom that the Polly has had in a long time,” Golden West head coach Drew Hall said.

On Saturday the Golden West Blazers (7-9, 0-1) finished up against the Mission Oak Hawks (8-6). In a close game down the stretch the Hawks used an early lead to win the game 68-61. What helped Mission Oak stay out in front was rebounding. Despite Golden West having two big inside players of their own it was Mission Oak’s Eric Hernandez who out did them both. Hernandez finished the game with 20 rebounds with most coming on the offensive side of the court. Those second chances allowed Mission Oak to stay in front.

The Blazers had the only win between the two foothill area teams. It came on day two over the Washington Union Panthers (4-5) by a score of 59-55. That win was in between two losses to the Porterville Panthers, 57-34, and the Sanger Apaches, 68-57.

In the match up against the Apaches (10-2) it came down to the third quarter. Golden West entered the quarter leading 25-20. Sanger came out in the full court press early on, and it resulted in two turnovers. Both turnovers were converted into five points. By the time of the third quarter ended Sanger had taken the lead 48-39. Donavan Brenson hit a three point basket with three seconds remaining.

“Sanger was a hard fought game,” Hall said.

Already one game into the West Yosemite League Hall is hoping that this tournament helps prepare his team for another run toward a title. Golden West will travel to Hanford to play the Bullpups on Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

“Our league is as tough as this tournament from top to bottom there are no give me games,” Hall said.

As for the Exeter Monarchs this is the second straight year that they have played in the last place game. Three straight losses was the reason the Monarchs found themselves in this game.

On Friday the Monarchs took on the Central Valley Christian Cavaliers. In this showdown of fellow Central Sequoia League opponents the Cavaliers took the win 68-61.

Exeter went on to lose to Washington Union 80-62.

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