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Co-Newcomer of the Year: Steven Thornton

Thornton was critical in the Grizzlies’ stellar season

Posted: July 1, 2009 9:21 p.m.
Updated: July 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Golden Valley senior Steven Thornton (5) blocks a shot by Hart's Parker Dominguez (45) on Jan. 13.

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Golden Valley High School’s lack of athletic success has been noted ad nauseam.

But that’s not the Golden Valley that Steven Thornton knows.

Thornton knows the Golden Valley that won the Foothill League title in boys basketball, the program that advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division IIIA semifinals, the team that helped set an example for the entire school.

He was one of the biggest reasons the team did those things.

Blessed with the height of a two-guard and the quickness of a point guard, The Signal’s 2008-09 co-Newcomer of the Year transferred back to Golden Valley for his senior season. He attended Golden Valley as a freshman before spending his sophomore year at Chatsworth and junior year being home-schooled.

He immediately teamed with Maverick Ahanmisi and Trevor Wiseman to form the Foothill League’s most talented trio in 2008-09.

Thornton could break down defenses off the dribble, move well without the ball and hit jumpers with regularity. Given his size, he was also active on the glass at both ends of the floor.

Thornton never shied away from the biggest stages, and he provided an impressive series of moments for the Grizzlies.

There was his 23-point performance in the championship game of the Simi Valley Tournament, when the Grizzlies beat the hosts by six points in overtime.

There was his 15-point third quarter in the season finale against West Ranch, the decisive frame of the decisive game that gave Golden Valley the outright league title.

There was his clutch jumper against Foothill in the Division IIIA quarterfinals, a shot that came amid one of his worst games of the season and gave the Grizzlies a five-point lead with less than a minute remaining.

There was his 41-point explosion in the semifinals against Gahr, which kept Golden Valley in the game.

Thornton averaged 19 points and five rebounds, and his efforts were rewarded with a swell of postseason accolades. He earned a first-team spot on the All-Foothill League team and The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley team, and he was a second-team selection on the All-CIF-SS Div. IIIA squad.

He turned out to be the perfect addition to put the Grizzlies over the top, one of the most potent weapons on the Foothill League’s most potent team.

People around the Golden Valley athletic program aren’t used to hearing that kind of praise.

Thanks to the contributions of Thornton and his teammates, they may have to get used to it.

jgulino@the-signal.com

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