WILDOMAR — Just three weeks after being handed a loss from Murrieta Valley in the championship game of the Nighthawk Classic, Elsinore was able to return the favor Tuesday night.
EJ Twyman scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to lead Elsinore to a 69-62 come-from-behind victory over Murrieta Valley in a nonleague game.
The win was Elsinore's first victory over Murrieta Valley (8-1) in four years and brought a blemish to the Nighthawks' record for the first time this season.
"This is a great victory for us; it's been a while since we have had one over them," Twyman said. "We knew that coming into the fourth quarter we had to keep attacking because our big guys were in foul trouble and we wanted to drive to the basket because our shots weren't falling from the outside. We knew we weren't going to give up."
Trailing by 11 points at halftime, the Tigers (8-2) came out of the break with a renewed energy, going on a 10-4 run to cut the deficit to 5 points. Elsinore finished the comeback late in the fourth, capitalizing on a Nighthawk cold streak to score nine unanswered points and take its first lead of the game, one they would not relinquish.
"We didn't have an answer to their press in the fourth quarter," Murrieta Valley head coach Steve Tarabilda said. "We played excellent for three quarters, but whether it was fatigue or worrying about foul trouble, we fell apart in the fourth. We started turning the ball over, went several possessions without taking a shot, and saw our lead dwindle away. Elsinore is a very talented team.
"I think that during the Nighthawk Classic, it was (Elsinore) who outplayed us and we were able come out with the victory, but tonight it was the opposite."
Reid Shackelford led the charge for Murrieta Valley in the first half with 21 points, but he was held to just six points in second half.
Twyman led the Tigers' scoring effort with 28 points, while Lawrence Chamberlain added 19. Shackelford led Murrieta with 27 while Darius Butler had 20.
"Our kids came out to play tonight," Elsinore head coach Pete Rettinger said. "We tell them all the time to just keep going and to not doubt themselves. This is a great victory for us tonight."