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Vikes pile up classics

Valencia basketball continues to burn up the Canyon High court

Posted: December 12, 2008 10:43 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Michael Glotfelty (10) drives on Kennedy's Davion Young Friday at Canyon High.

 
Valencia played a strong second half during an opening-night win at the Canyon Classic, and then played well in the first half to win again Thursday.

On Friday, Valencia put together a complete game against Kennedy and punched a ticket to the tournament championship because of it.

The Vikings’ defense wore down Kennedy of Granada Hills, and six different players scored at least seven points in a 67-39 victory over the Golden Cougars at Canyon High School.

Lonnie Jackson’s 15 points led all scorers, and he also led a number of transition opportunities that came about thanks to Valencia’s suffocating defensive effort.

“I think our defense is playing better as a whole,” Jackson said. “If one guy got beat, we were there to help. In practice, we focus on defense, and I see it paying off during games.”

It paid off huge in the second quarter, when the already winded Golden Cougars (2-2) went deep into the shot clock on a couple of possessions and didn’t score any points.

It might have been Valencia’s knockout punch, as the Vikings (6-1) used those empty possessions as opportunities to increase their advantage.

“Our defense turned into offense in transition,” Jackson said, “and we’re having fun out there. We’re playing as a team.”

The Vikings further demoralized Kennedy by hounding the offensive glass. Cory Otavka grabbed several offensive boards in the second quarter by himself, and the extra opportunities further served to wear down the Golden Cougars.

“We tried to rebound better because we’ve been out-rebounded the last three games,” said Valencia head coach Rocket Collins. “So we knew we could do a better job and that’s what we did.”

After struggling from the field in the first half, Valencia blew the game open by shooting a scalding 59 percent in the third quarter, while holding Kennedy to just five points on 16 percent shooting.

Emmanuel Anumba scored 10 points for Valencia, while Jake Kelfer added nine. Brennan Bernardino and Aaron Spargo each finished with eight, and Otavka wound up with seven.

Chris Knott, the Golden Cougars’ lone facilitator on offense, scored 11 points.

Valencia will face Lancaster in the Canyon Classic championship game at 5:30 p.m. today at Canyon High School. Lancaster upended the host Canyon Cowboys 58-53 in Friday’s tournament semifinals.

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