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Late burst is the difference

Vikings close out Burroughs with an 11-0 run

Posted: December 4, 2008 9:52 p.m.
Updated: December 5, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Jenny Lentz (5) brings the ball down court Thursday as Burroughs' Mallory Gutierez guards at Valencia High.

 
For the most part, Valencia’s performance against Burroughs bore little resemblance to its opening-game dominance.

It didn’t matter. The Vikings hit on all cylinders when they needed to most.

Leading by three points midway through the fourth quarter, Valencia went on an 11-0 run and eventually closed out Burroughs 56-44 at the High Five Classic at Valencia High School.

Two days earlier, the Vikings kicked off their season with a 44-point victory. On Thursday night, they proved they could win tough, too.

“It was encouraging,” said Valencia head coach Jerry Mike. “It was nice because the group that was responsible for most of (the 11-0 run) was a couple starters and three reserves. It was an interesting combination, because we did it without two of our top three players.”

That kind of depth helped wear down an extremely active Burroughs squad which refused to let Valencia forward Starla Wright dominate the interior.

“They were trying to make us score from the outside,” Mike said. “They took away Starla. They really put someone behind her, and if she got it, there was someone there to turn and prevent her from doing her moves. It was a good plan by the coach.”

Valencia (2-0) held a tentative lead for much of the contest, and a pair of free throws by Burroughs’ Lish Eisenbach brought the Indians (0-3) within three midway through the fourth. After that, however, the Vikings went on their run.

Burroughs’ quick penetration game kept Valencia off balance, but its spacing also sagged and periodically nullified the strategy. On the other end of the floor, Valencia’s Lauren Spargo scored 18 points by putting the ball on the floor and finding seams in the Indians’ zone.

As a whole, the Vikings hit their first six shots of the third quarter and put together a crisp second half.

“We started picking it up in the second half,” Mike said. “We moved the ball around and we hit shots. That kind of opened it up a little bit.”

Valencia still had trouble keeping the Indians in front of them, however, and Burroughs used its individual skill to make plays and wrestle back momentum whenever Valencia seemed to have it.

Lindsey Hill scored 10 points for Valencia, and Danielle Cavanagh had 10 off the bench. Eisenbach’s 16 points led Burroughs, and Mallory Gutierez added 13.

Valencia will host El Camino at 6 p.m. today for the right to play in the High Five Classic championship.

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