Monday’s monster match up could only be described in one word: berserk. The Toppers and Espanola faced off at Griffith gym for a fiery rivalry. The atmosphere of the gym was very tense during both games. Plenty of law enforcement officers attended the game to keep things in check, but nearing the end of the JV game, blood emerged from one of the fans in an alleged scrapple, making the atmosphere even edgier.
Before the main event, the JV Toppers put on quite a show with an impressive point-for-point trade off to end at a 73-67 victory.
Once the main attraction began, the crowd grew well beyond the usual Topper standards. The Varsity put out a strong line-up to start the game with Antonio Trujillo, Ramon Roybal, Jack Stewart, Isaac Fason and Troy Hammock. The game began with the Toppers striking first and continuing the theme. The first quarter was a shooting gallery with the Toppers taking a small advantage of 2 points. Roybal scored seven of them. The two-point lead was remarkable considering that Espanola scored only threes for their first 15 points. The crowd became hostile at this point with one of the spectators being removed from the game.
The Toppers most impressive performance took place in the second quarter during which their defense dominated and their scoring gave a lot of space and freedom, thus the Toppers took an 11-point leading making it 29-18. From this point on the Sun Devils played very well but could not overcome the deficit.
The crowd may have played into the Toppers success or it may have been the previous game that pumped the Varsity Toppers up, but undoubtedly the Toppers strong performance could not be credited without the players. The Toppers key communication, defensive ability, and shot percentage gave the Boys a swift victory 55-48. The performance was strong and the win was well fought, Roybal sums it up best, “We worked as a team and fought back, if we can do that we are unstoppable.”
The Toppers next game is Wednesday against Academy.