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Vikings Survive

Posted: February 16, 2008 3:30 a.m.
Updated: April 18, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Valencia's Terrez Scott (23) shoots a floater over Crescenta Valley's Clayton Sierra (20) in the fourth quarter of their game Friday at Valencia High.

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Valencia High point guard Terrez Scott turned what could have been a costly botched inbounds play into a that's-what-I-meant-to-do play.

Crescenta Valley's Clayton Sierra scored a bucket to bring his team to within a point of Valencia with 16 seconds left. The Vikings' Jim Baughman threw the inbounds pass to lead Scott, but Baughman led him a little too far.

Scott tracked it down near midcourt, blew by two defenders to the basket, put in the layup, and drew the foul with 6.9 seconds left on the clock.

He didn't convert the free throw, but the Falcons (18-10) missed their final basket on the other end as time ran out, giving Valencia a 60-57 win on Friday night at Valencia in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division II-AA playoffs.

"They tried to sandwich me, but I used my speed," said Scott of the play. "I went up as strong as I could. I held my pose and shot it."

Scott scored four points, all of which came in the final frame. Skyler Seymour finished with a team-high 14 points on the night.

While the Vikings (20-7) got contributions from all of their key players, the most important guy on the floor Friday night may have been their sixth man, freshman Lonnie Jackson.

The Falcons took a 42-36 lead with 7:31 to go in the fourth quarter, and it was Jackson's 3-pointer near the top of the arc that put Valencia back in front 46-44 with 5:03 left in the game.

"We knew what Valencia was about, we couldn't get all the stops we needed," said Falcons head coach Shawn Zargarian.

Jackson's big 3-pointer came after Emmanuel Anumba hit the front end of a one-and-one, and Seymour grabbed the rebound and kicked it out to Jackson, who calmly drained the trey.

"He's a gamer," said Vikings co-head coach Rocket Collins. "I think he feeds off the pressure."

Jackson also came off the bench late in the first quarter to provide a much-needed spark for the Vikings, who were down 13-10 after the opening frame.

He hit a pair of free throws with 20.3 seconds left in the first quarter and then hit two free throws and a 3-pointer back-to-back at the start of the second frame, giving Valencia a 17-13 advantage.

He scored nine points in the first half and also had an assist and a steal in the second quarter, helping the Vikings to a 25-22 halftime lead.

Jackson finished with 12 points for the night.

The freshman said the adjustment to coming off the bench this season was tough at first.

"Once I started getting used to it, I started liking it," Jackson said. "I try to energize the team."

Late in the second quarter, the Vikings had a call go against them that nearly proved to be costly.

Ahead 25-20 on a layup by Valencia's John Otavka, the Falcons' Alan Bagatourin was fouled with 39.9 seconds left.

One referee indicated it was a one-and-one situation, while the other said Bagatourin should get two shots.

Bagatourin missed the first free throw, but apparently the referees had called a timeout before he took the shot. On the second try Bagatourin hit the front end of the one-and-one and also converted the second, pulling Crescenta Valley to within three points heading into halftime.

It was a close finish for the Foothill League champions and it ended up taking a big night from a freshman who was playing in his first playoff game to win to advance to the next round.

"It was different. It was fun, I enjoyed it," Jackson said. "Hopefully there's plenty more. Four more.


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