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SCV Hoops Finale boys: Back to old habits

Foothill MVP Apsay earns same honor in All-Star game

Posted: March 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Canyon High guard Coley Apsay won MVP honors for the SCV Hoops Finale senior all-star boys game on Saturday at Saugus High School.

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Coley Apsay and Canyon boys basketball is used to winning. They showed it during this past season.

They showed it again at the SCV Hoops Finale.

Apsay scored a game-high 22 points and dished to Santa Clarita Christian School’s Tikko Moore for the go-ahead basket late as the team of Canyon, Hart, Golden Valley and SCCS beat the team of West Ranch, Saugus, Valencia and Trinity 73-70 on Saturday at Saugus High School.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Bridges to Ability Foundation, which provides social, recreational, vocational and educational programs to teenagers and adults with disabilities.

With his team down 70-69 with less than a minute remaining, Apsay missed a 3-pointer but teammate Clay Kasdorf grabbed a critical offensive rebound. Apsay then drove the lane and dished to Moore.

After a pair of misses at the other end, Golden Valley’s Nick Billy pulled down a rebound and hit two free throws with three seconds left.

For his efforts, Apsay was named the game’s MVP.

“Winning the Foothill League was a dream come true,” Apsay said, “but this is awesome.”

The Canyon-Hart-Golden Valley-SCCS team, which wore dark jerseys, was coached by recently retired Canyon head coach Chad Phillips.

“It’s my first time ever coaching a game like this,” he said. “I wanted to make sure everybody played and keep a smile on everybody’s face.”

At halftime of the boys game, Trinity’s James Brooks won the slam-dunk contest, besting Hart’s T.C. Toomey and Valencia’s James Glass in the final round.

Brooks went underneath the hoop and finished with his left hand to take the title.

“It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve accomplished for myself and my school,” Brooks said.

In a spirited, up-tempo affair, the West Ranch-Saugus-Valencia-Trinity team held a steady advantage for most of the first three quarters until a run by its opponent late in the third.

The dark jerseys closed the quarter on a 17-2 run to turn a 46-39 deficit into a 56-48 lead heading into the fourth. Apsay hit three 3-pointers to help key the run.

Conversely, the West Ranch-Saugus-Valencia-Trinity team, which wore light jerseys, couldn’t buy a basket in the second half. The team only shot 36 percent in the second half, including 25 percent in the third.

That said, the light jerseys were never out of it. Saugus’ Jeremy Gatewood scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the second half and only missed two shots.

“The ball bounced their way,” Brooks said. “They hit more shots at the end.”

The players attempted a couple of highlight-reel plays, including lobs for potential dunks to teammates, but they were broken up each time.

Apsay, the Foothill League Player of the Year, received plenty of support. Billy hustled his way to 10 points and didn’t miss a shot, while Kasdorf also finished with 10 points. Golden Valley’s Wade Rodriguez had eight, and Moore’s go-ahead field goal was his only field goal of the second half.

“This was awesome,” Apsay said. “I wish I could do it more often, especially playing with the SCCS and Trinity guys.”

Valencia’s Troy Hammel scored 15 points for his team, and Vikings teammate Zach Davis had 13, including 11 in the first half. Otherwise, the scoring was pretty balanced for the light jerseys.

For now, this marks Phillips’ final high school basketball game as a head coach. He summed up his experience simply.

“Enjoyable,” he said. “It could’ve gone either way, and I’m still happy.”

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