Westlake boys basketball defeats Oaks Christian to grab share of Marmonte lead

WESTLAKE VILLAGE — The biggest question coming into Friday’s matchup between the Westlake and Oaks Christian boys basketball teams was who would remain on top in the Marmonte League.

Westlake answered in a big way by knocking off Oaks Christian 63-43 to force a three-way tie for first place in the league.

The Warriors now share the lead with the Lions and Thousand Oaks, which defeated Newbury Park 77-52 Friday.

There are two weeks left in the regular season, and the race for the league title will be closely monitored.

“In the Marmonte League, everyone knows where everyone is at,” said Warriors head coach Kyle Kegley. “It’s now a three-way tie and it’s just any given day in this league. It’s brutal. We came through with a full team effort tonight.”

It was a defensive battle right out of the gates with each team scoring just 13 points in the first quarter.

With so little to give, the game looked like it would remain close the entire way.

The Lions’ Stevie Prudholme led the team with 10 points in the first half, but the Warriors remained resilient. Behind the effort of Dante Deshautelle, who had 10 first-half points and key buckets off the bench, the Warriors hung onto a narrow 31-28 lead.

Something had to give. Unfortunately for the Lions, the script of the game completely turned.

“We went to the bench early in the first half and that’s when the game turned,” said Lions head coach Mark Amaral. “I made a lot of mistakes. They got a lot of momentum into the half and they were just tougher. At the end of the day, we need to execute but they just had better players making better plays tonight.”

The Warriors were rewarded for coming out firing on all cylinders with a 12-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Deshautelle rocked the house and finished with 14 points, four rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block.

“It comes down to preparation and trusting in our work,” said Deshautelle. “We played them once and we aren’t going to slack. They’re a good, strong team.”

It was no question the difference in the game came down to the size and physicality of the Warriors. Three players finished with at least eight rebounds, including Austin Maziasz.

Maziasz finished the game with a team-best 17 points, eight rebounds three assists and one block.

It was an effort that didn’t go unnoticed.

“Shoutout to Austin for helping us,” said Deshautelle. “His rebounding was amazing. He really carried the game for us.”

All sights are now set on who will take the Marmonte League crown.

“We just have to take everyone seriously,” said Maziasz. “The league is tough. We can lose to anyone, so we just got to take it one game at a time.

“The game is much easier getting to play with Dante. He’s so electric and always looking for his teammates first. Playing with someone like that is always great.”

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