In the final game of the season on their home court—with the spotlight on the senior players—it was a junior who scored the most points as the East Mountain Timberwolves picked up a 64-43 victory April 27 over the visiting Cottonwood Classical Prep Coyotes.
It was the third win in a row for the T’Wolves, who started the spring season 0-4 but have improved their record to 3-4, 2-2 in District 5-3A.
“I’m not gonna lie, it feels good to have a few Ws under our belt,” East Mountain head coach Nathan Cordova said after the win.
Cottonwood struck first, staking a brief 4-0 lead. But East Mountain’s Nathaniel Madrid started a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer to put the Timberwolves up 7-4. They never trailed again.
The Coyotes answered with a basket to trim the margin to 7-6 midway through the first quarter.
East Mountain junior Beckett Dunleavy’s consecutive layups helped fuel another 7-0 spurt to put the T’Wolves up 14-6 by the end of the frame.
“We started off a little slow, but we had a lot of good team chemistry and brought it all together with the seniors,” Dunleavy said. “We just kept moving, kept pushing, all the seniors were doing good.”
At the start of the second quarter, senior Jake McFall drove the lane and leaped toward the basket for an apparent layup, but he dished the ball over to fellow senior, Ross Amestoy, who sank a jumper to push the lead to 16-6.
East Mountain led by double digits the rest of the game. The T’Wolves went into the locker room at halftime with a comfortable 31-17 cushion.
McFall and Amestoy were both working the swing shift for East Mountain, having played in the baseball team’s season-opening game earlier in the afternoon before heading over to the gym for the T’Wolves’ basketball game.
Amestoy got a little dinged in the baseball game after getting hit by a pitch and spending a couple of innings behind the plate as catcher, but he said it wasn’t going to keep him from playing in the basketball game.
“Honestly, it’s just a fun experience for me, whether it’s baseball or basketball,” Amestoy said.
“It’s so fun, being able to play both sports that I love, it’s so much fun,” added McFall.
Cottonwood cut East Mountain’s lead down to 10 early in the third quarter, but Dunleavy responded by muscling his way through the paint for a layup, drawing a foul on the play. He sank the subsequent free throw to put the T’Wolves up by 15.
East Mountain extended its lead to 45-32 at the end of the third. Dunleavy’s layup with just under five minutes remaining in the game put East Mountain up 51-32.
“It was a lot of good passing underneath and we took it and got a bunch of buckets, so it was really good,” Dunleavy said. He scored a game-high 20 points.
Amestoy and Jeffrey Hill added back-to-back layups in transition off Cottonwood turnovers to boost the lead to 64-40 with a minute left.
“From my standpoint, my guys just played our defense to perfection, and I think the defense was creating opportunities for the offense,” Cordova said, adding, “For me, getting this win is huge because this’ll help with the freshmen and sophomores, and hopefully we’ll get more people coming out next year and wanna join the program.”
The T’Wolves played April 29 at Cuba. They finish the season May 1 at Bosque.