William Rupp….The Vista boys basketball season ended on a down note, losing to the Taft Charter High Toreadors by a score of 56-55. This is the same Vista team that had won on a last second shot in the first round of the CIF state playoffs the previous Wednesday, March 8th.
The game was not decided until the Toreadors’ Kihei Clark sank two free throws with about three seconds left to allow Taft to take a 56-52 lead. The Panthers Taurus Samuels made a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was not enough.
Vista had beaten Taft by 8 points in the Damien Classic in December, but in this one they could not overcome numerous turnovers, plus having to travel about 120 miles to reach the Taft campus. In addition, Taft looked like a sharper team this time. The Toreadors looked especially good in the first quarter, taking a 20-10 point lead. Meanwhile, the Panthers had trouble getting started. But thereafter Vista got going, and in the final three quarters outscored Taft by nine points.
Unfortunately, they needed to outscore Taft by 10, and they could not quite do it. Vista suffered from more turnovers than usual, and that arguably made the difference. Leading scorers were these. For Taft, Antwan January, 16; Kihei Clark and Abdurrahman Zaid 13 each. For Vista, Jordan Hilstock, 22; Taurus Samuels 16.
Vista finished 28-5 this season, one of their best records ever.
William Rupp Email: email@example.com