Fountain Valley back on track

It's been interesting ride during the past 10 days for the Fountain Valley boys' basketball team.

A week ago at this time, the Barons were reeling from consecutive games where they couldn't find the basket. Their inability to score resulted in back-to-back losses to Westminster and Huntington Beach, the latter in their Sunset League opener. 

But five days after a deflating 49-41 loss to the Oilers, the Barons came up big against rival Edison and knocked off the defending Sunset champs, 59-53. On Friday, they again came up big in the second half to earn a 57-48 road victory at Marina.

The two wins this week put Fountain Valley, now 13-5 and 2-1 in league, right back in the league race.

"Our guys have done a great job of staying with it after losing to Westminster and Huntington," Fountain Valley Coach Roger Holmes said. "We played so poorly and were rally sluggish in both those games, but against Edison and tonight against Marina we started to hit our shots. Hopefully, it's a good sign of things to come."

The Barons went up, 13-9, in the first quarter and increased the lead to 17-9 early in the second quarter before Marina made a run. The Vikings went on a 9-0 tear to take the lead, and then went into the half holding a 22-21 advantage.

"Again, it was a matter of us not making our shots, not rebounding," Holmes said. "They (Marina) did a real good job and the game was played to their style in the first half. In the second half, we scored 36 points, which was more to our style."

Neither the Barons or Vikings were able to take control in the third quarter, which ended with Fountain Valley taking a 35-34 lead into the final eight minutes. The Barons pulled away in the fourth quarter for the second straight game to get the win.

Senior forward Nathan Moss scored a game-high 18 points and collected 11 rebounds and senior guard Sean Meyers scored 15 points for the Barons.

Senior guard JJ James scored 13 points, senior forward Josh Calkin 11 points and junior forward Casey Hayes 10 points for the Vikings who are 1-2 in league and 9-9 overall.

Holmes, in his second year as head coach of his alma mater, is now 3-0 against a Marina program he led as head coach before taking over at Fountain Valley.

"We were much more efficient on offense and picked up a lot of offensive rebounds in the second half tonight," Holmes said. "I thought we did a good job defensively, too, for most of the game. We had another big scoring output in the fourth quarter, just like we did the other night against Edison."

Fountain Valley scored 21 points and held Edison to just seven in the fourth quarter Wednesday to rally from an eight-point deficit and pull out a 59-53 victory over the Chargers. Edison had started the game on a 13-0 run, but Fountain Valley countered with a 9-0 run of its own. The Chargers were still up, 46-38, heading into the fourth quarter.

Holmes said it was the first time Fountain Valley had defeated Edison in seven years.

"We just kept chipping away at it," Holmes said of the game-long deficit. "Obviously, they (Edison) have two really good players (Dreon Barlett, Corey Foster) and they came out real hot to take that big lead early. But we hung in there. We made some key stops in the fourth quarter and I think our depth helped us out a lot. We did a great job of rebounding, too."

Josh Armstrong hit four three-point shots en route to a game-best 20 points for the Barons. Holmes said the junior guard, who scored 10 of the Barons' 21 fourth-quarter points, "really played a great game." Moss scored 17 points and Meyers had 13 points and eight assists in a performance Holmes said was "real solid."

Fountain Valley has a chance to move into a tie for first place in the league standings next week. The Barons host a Los Alamitos squad that leads the Sunset race at 3-0 at 7 p.m. Wednesday. They'll close out the first round of league play on Jan. 20 (7 p.m.) at home against Newport Harbor.

"If we want to have a chance in this league, we have to win our home games," Holmes said. "That's what we've been emphasizing to our kids, and we have two big ones at home next week."

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Other scores from Friday:

Edison 40, Huntington Beach 38

The Chargers improved to 2-1 in the Sunset League by edging the Oilers (1-2) at Edison.

Ocean View 74, Loara 33

The Seahawks ran their Golden West League record to 2-0 by overwhelming the Saxons at Loara.

On Monday, Ocean View travels to Huntington Beach to take on the Oilers in a 6 p.m. nonleague game.

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