Hart boys basketball handed Valencia its first Foothill League loss of the season on Tuesday night, beating the Vikings 81-77 at Valencia High School.
“It was a pretty special moment for the kids,” said Hart coach Tom Kelly via phone call. “I mean for all of us, coaches and kids, because they kicked our butts the first game in our gym and it was really nice to see our kids respond and compete tonight.”
Ahead of the game, the Indians (15-10 overall, 5-2 in Foothill League) spoke little about the game plan and emphasized the importance of playing hard and competing, something that the team was lacking in the first contest against Valencia (20-5, 6-1) on Jan. 10.
“We watched the film over and over of the first game and there were so many plays in the first game where valencia beat us to loose balls or got second shots,” Kelly said. “It had nothing to do with skills. The first game, Valencia played a lot harder than we did. That was embarrassing for all of us.”
The game was close throughout, with neither team holding more than a seven-point advantage, by Kelly’s estimate. Leading by three points with 10 seconds left in the game, Hart’s Isaac Deedon hit two free throws to seal the win.
Three different players scored in double digits for the Indians. Ty Penberthy led the team with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Dillon Barrientos also scored 19 points to go with three rebounds and six assists.
Jaden Penberthy chipped in 17 points, four rebounds and two assists and Brady Dunlap had 11 points, six rebounds and two assists. Deedon had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists.
“It’s a big win. One, is it’s on the road. Two, they were undefeated and three, they hammered us the first game,” Kelly said. “It’s a good confidence booster and we want to finish this thing out strong and get into the playoffs and see what we can do in playoffs.”
Hart returns home on Friday to host Canyon at 6:30 p.m. Valencia hosts West Ranch on Friday at 6:30 p.m.