Scratch and claw as they may, a game Cathedral City boys’ basketball squad was unable to quell the league lion that is now wholly out of its cage.
With their 67-56 home victory over Cathedral City on Tuesday night, the La Quinta Blackhawks claimed their fourth consecutive league win, marking the school’s longest DVL streak in nearly two years. The victory also matched the longest conference win streak in head coach Jeff Hepner’s five-year tenure at the Blackhawks’ helm.
“It’s the deepest team I’ve ever had,” Hepner said of his squad that saw nine offensive contributors Tuesday. “Everybody earns it in practice, so we kinda go in the first half and see which guys are feeling it. We’re gonna see who showed up to play and nobody seems to have a problem with different lineups.”
La Quinta senior Jojo Wiggins led the Blackhawks with a 16-point night, producing the wealth of his output via a 10-for-12 showing from the free throw line.
Evidencing the Blackhawks’ depth was Kameron Dashner, who came off the bench to score 13 points for the hosts. Junior forward Jared Broadhead added 12 more for the victors while guard Julian Del Toro chipped in 11 more.
The win for La Quinta (10-9, 4-1 DVL) sets up a pivotal league showdown next Tuesday night when the Blackhawks visit DVL-leading Palm Desert.
“Palm Desert, until we can beat them, they’re the favorite and we’re the underdog,” Hepner added. “We’re going to get in a good week of practice, and try to stay positive because we have to know that we can beat them.”
Cathedral City (10-6, 1-3 DVL) has now dropped four of its last five following a 7-1 start to the season. In the loss, the Lions were led by 16 points from guard Chris Grenier.
“We’ve been fighting some things against ourselves right now and I think it’s that mid-season grind,” said Cathedral City head coach Sky Wilson. “But I feel better about us overcoming our own issues within our own team. We’re focused on the game plan and trying to give our full effort. There’s a lot of things about our program that we need to clean up skill-wise and fundamentally. There’s a culture that we’re trying to change and that’s a process. But these guys are buying into my philosophy and that’s all I can ask.”
The Lions will aim to cease their skid when they host Indio on Thursday night.