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Early Foothill fight

With key players out for both teams, Valencia tops Indians in overtime for Hart Summer Classic Tou

Posted: July 7, 2008 1:46 a.m.
Updated: September 7, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Valencia's Toki Oshodi takes the ball to the basket as a Hart defender goes up to try to block the shot. Valencia won the Hart Summer Classic with a 51-47 victory over Hart.

Valencia and Hart played for a basketball championship Sunday night.

OK, it was only the Hart Summer Classic title game.

Mismatched uniforms, cooling fans on full blast along the sidelines, and the loud sound of shoes squeaking on the floor were all indication that the Foothill League wasn't on the line.

But when these two teams meet in winter it could be. Valencia and Hart are two of the early favorites for the league crown and the summer skirmish was just an early peek into the teams capabilities.

"Its just summer, but they're competitive, they go at it," Valencia coach Rocket Collins said.

It was competitive enough for an overtime to be needed.

Valencia, who led for the majority of the game before blowing a 12 point lead, composed itself enough to come away with a 51-47 win and the tournament crown Sunday night at Hart High School.

Out of the 12 teams in the tournament, Collins hoped to see as many non-league teams as possible. That, however, didn't happen.

"You come into these games hoping you don't play them, and then you play them," he said.

Valencia, who finished first last season was missing its up and coming sophomore Lonnie Jacson, who suffered what one bystander described as a Tyler Hansbrough like injury on Saturday.

Jackson needed two staples to stop the bleeding on his head and will be out of action for about five days, according to his coach.

Hart, meanwhile, was without Parker Dominguez, who sat on the bench but didn't play.

Without Dominguez inside, guards Brad Wyche and Patrick Abbott ran the show.

Down 37-30 in the second half, Wyche and Abbott knocked down back to back 3-pointers to pull within one and Abbott's short floater gave Hart its first second half lead.

The Vikings, led by senior Emmanuel Anumba were too much to overcome.

Anumba's old fashioned three-point play in overtime, giving Valencia a 47-44 lead, proved to be the deciding play.

"We played together," Collins said. "We persevered."

Six-foot-3 senior-to-be Toki Oshodi would knock down two free throws to give Valencia a cushion.
On the other side, Hart coach Tom Kelly wasn't pleased with his offensive execution.

"We shot ourselves in the foot," Kelly said. "We turned the ball over and we didn't run any offense."
Overall, Kelly was happy with the way this tournament and the summer has gone so far.

"We played well, but it's summer, there's a lot of bumps in the road," he said.

Hart topped Sylmar in the semifinals while Valencia knocked off El Camino 45-41, in another overtime game.

The Vikings next head to a tournament in Glendale followed by a tournament at Campbell Hall.

Hart will be off to San Diego for a tournament at UC San Diego and is also playing in the Crespi League on Wednesday nights.

Sylmar took home third place with a 67-35 win over El Camino, but also played without its star Tyler Honeycutt.

Golden Valley and Saugus also participated in the tournament.

Though West Ranch did not, it was the first name out of Collins mouth when asked about the potential of Hart and Valencia being the two league favorites.

"West Ranch is playing really, really good," he said.


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