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Valencia boys basketball: A case in points

Valencia offense overcomes absence of two key players to pull away

Posted: December 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Valencia forward Zach Davis (34) looks to shoot against Quartz Hill on Tuesday at the Canyon Classic at Canyon High School. The Vikings opened play in the tournament by beating the Rebels 86-70 and improving to 5-0.

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At least one thing is clear about this year’s Valencia boys basketball team.

They can score under any circumstances.

Fresh off a victory in the Simi Valley Tip-Off Classic last week, Valencia opened up the Canyon Classic with a 86-70 win over Quartz Hill of Lancaster on Tuesday at Canyon High School.

The Vikings (5-0) did it without point guard Jaleel Howard, who was out with a broken foot, and power forward Daniel Salovich, who missed the game due to illness according to head coach Rocket Collins.

Regardless, Valencia was able to establish itself in the paint and shot well enough to run away from the scrappy Rebels (4-2) late in the game.

"Our offense is good, we scored 86 points," said senior forward Zach Davis, who scored a game-high 31 points. "We just need to work on our defense."

Between Davis scoring inside and teammate Troy Hammel making shots from long range, Quartz Hill (4-2) struggled to slow down the Vikings’ potent offense, which evidently hasn’t lost a step since the loss of last year’s Foothill League Player of the Year Lonnie Jackson.

As easy as it was for the Vikings to score, the Rebels remained neck-and-neck for most of the contest.

The combination of forwards Ivan Dooley and Reggie Cooper scored 33 of Quartz Hill’s points, with Dooley’s 22 leading the way.

At one point in the second quarter, Quartz Hill led 31-25, but an 11-4 Valencia run gave the Vikings a 40-38 halftime lead.

"We started going inside-out and hitting the threes," Collins said. "We made some adjustments offensively because they were playing the zone."

Hammel found his stroke in the second half, pouring in 18 of his 25 points after the break and helping Valencia finally pull away late in the third quarter.

That coincided with Dooley leaving the game after picking up his fourth foul in the third.

He would later return, but not before Valencia had built a double-digit lead in the fourth.

"We wanted to just attack the basket and get them in foul trouble early before they got us in foul trouble," Dooley said.

Davis said he wasn’t concerned with the foul situation, but argued the difference came on defense.

"They could only dribble right, so we forced them left to their bad hand," Davis said.

The result was a rash of turnovers by the Rebels which led to fastbreak points and, in turn, put the game out of reach and kept the Vikings undefeated to start the year.

Center James Glass also scored 10 points for the Vikings, who play Grant High at 6 p.m. today as they continues play in the Canyon Classic.


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