Vista Murrieta came out looking to upset the 5th-ranked team in the CIF SS 1A Division and to send a message to the rest of the Southwestern League Tuesday night as they bolted to a ten point lead at the half. It was all Broncos in the first half as Spencer Benson scored 12 of his 17 points to build a commanding 34-24 lead.
The Golden Bears played almost the entire first half with out forward Javier Harris who hyper-extended his knee early in the first period.
After a sluggish start for both teams in the third period, Temecula Valley roared back and took command of the boards as they outscored the Broncos 12-5 to close the gap to 34-39 as the period ended.
Sparked by guard Justin Simon, the Golden Bears took control in the fourth period and regained the lead 45-43 on a three pointer by Ryan Schaefer. Temecula Valley would build a 10 point cushion before the Broncos came storming back to once again make it close.
Free throws played a significant factor in the end of the game as Temecula Valley was near perfect in the fourth period from the charity stripe. Simon nailed six in a row and Riley Schaefer two as the Golden Bears put the game away 59-54.
Simon was clutch as he scored 12 of his 20 points in the final period. Ryan Schaefer also scored 20 points for Temecula Valley and his brother Riley controlled boards and scored 10 points. Dominique Mitchell and Javier Harris had six points apiece.
The Broncos were led by Benson who had 17 points. Austin Beech scored 13 points and Jacob Perry eight and Joey Diaz seven. Vista Murrieta will travel to Great Oak Thursday to take on the Wolfpack who stunned Murrieta Valley 55-44 in their league opener.
Temecula Valley will be at Chaparral to play the Pumas who fell to Murrieta Mesa 71-65 in their first Southwestern League game.