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Foothill picture takes shape

The Day After: Canyon leads league in three of four sports

Posted: January 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

It was an eventful day on the field and in the gym for Foothill League soccer and basketball teams on Friday.

Nothing though, topped the emotional and physical drama that ensued when the nationally ranked Saugus and West Ranch girls soccer teams squared off at Saugus High School.

When all was said and done, Saugus topped West Ranch 2-1 to stay undefeated and extend its league unbeaten streak to 18 games.

Saugus did however, lose its top goal soccer Stacy Atwater potentially for the season with a broken collarbone, and West Ranch saw Valerie Mercado exit with a possible concussion.

At the bottom of the standings, Golden Valley broke its streak of 11 straight Foothill League losses by tying Canyon 0-0 at Canyon High.

“They’re really confident,” said Golden Valley head coach Charles Martinez. “They do what they do and they do it right. They’re progressing and they have to focus on the game and believe.”

And if Golden Valley can start scoring goals — they’ve scored only one goal in four league games — they might be able to get into the win column.

“I think defensively we just come out really strong and the midfielders I can say the same thing,” Martinez said. “But where we’re struggling a lot is finishing to find the goal in the last third. But little by little, I think we may come up with a big surprise.”

And what a surprise it would be if the Grizzlies earned their first league victory in school history when they face Saugus on Tuesday.

“It’s going to be a tough game but we may surprise them,” Martinez said. “We may surprise them. But its going to be hard. But hey, we’re going to work in order to get our first win.”

Hart improved to 2-1-1 in league play with another impressive defensive performance.

The Indians defeated Valencia 1-0 behind a goal from Destinney Duron off an assist from Ally Perez.

“Another beautiful, strong performance,” said Hart head coach Mike Gomez. “It was, wow, I can honestly say it was almost identical to the West Ranch game where we were basically going back and forth, back and forth. I’m really surprised that Valencia has now lost three straight. They came out strong. Very talented team. They took 12 shots, three of them shots-on-goal, but toward the end of the game, it was a defensive game on both parts.”

In boys soccer, Valencia took a first-half lead on Hart, but scored an own goal in the second half to finish in a 1-1 draw.
Jesus Fernandez assisted Marc Silingardi midway through the first half to put the Vikings ahead.

But in the second half, the Vikings tried to clear a Hart corner kick. Instead of sending the ball down field though, the ball went into the back of net past goalie Gino Ferraro.

“We were holding them off well and unfortunately it was a mishap on a set piece and we miskicked it and the ball ended up in the net,” said Valencia head coach Tony Scalercio. “I was very proud of the way they played defensively, and we were able to hold them off.”

Canyon defeated Golden Valley 1-0 on a goal from junior midfielder Daniel Foster in stoppage time.

The win, along with West Ranch’s 2-2 draw with Saugus, put the Cowboys in sole possession of first place.

Basketball
In boys basketball, Canyon continued to roll by, extending its winning streak to 12 games with a 68-34 victory over Golden Valley.

Valencia held off Hart in a 64-53 win and West Ranch pulled away from Saugus 64-42.

In girls hoops, Saugus struggled at times with West Ranch but made the necessary adjustments in a 57-49 victory.

Canyon dominated Golden Valley, winning 69-21 behind 14 points from Tiffini Stone. Leilani Okihara and Jaya Shultz each scored 12 points.

“I thought we did well defensively,” said Canyon head coach Chuck Johns. “I thought we rebounded the ball well and limited their second chances and hit some shots.”

For Valencia, it was a similar results as Jennifer Anumba scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a 69-21 victory.
Alia McCoy scored 10 points, Kali Vittallo had nine and Delaney McCann scored eight.
jstein@the-signal.com

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