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Prep boys hoops: Valencia pushes back against Golden Valley

Vikings escape after back-and-forth affair

Posted: January 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 12, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Golden Valley's Leon Jacobs, top, and Valencia's Malik McCowan (20) wrestle for the ball during Friday night's game at Valencia High School.

In a game that went down to the final seconds, Valencia fought off a pesky Golden Valley team and pulled out a 65-61 victory Friday at Valencia High.

After Golden Valley had mounted a 14-point comeback, Riley Honaker and Valencia bounced back in the fourth quarter and made enough plays to secure the win.

Honaker had eight of his 14 points in the final quarter and knocked down multiple key free-throws to seal game.

“I knew it was a turning point in the game,” Honaker said. “I just wanted to block out the noise and knock them down.”

The senior guard was removed from the game in the first quarter after sustaining a cut above his right eye.

He returned in the second quarter.

In his absence, Garret Mike and Angel Cardenas combined for 14 points as the Vikings controlled a 21-9 advantage after one period.

Mike and Cardenas finished with 16 and 11 points, respectively.

The Vikings (13-2 overall, 2-0 Foothill League) also relied on penetration and getting to the free-throw line.

Valencia finished the game hitting 22-for-32 from the stripe, while the Grizzlies went just 5-of-8.

“Our focus was on spreading the floor,” said Valencia head coach Rocket Collins. “People think that when we go inside we have to throw it to the big guy, but with space our guards can get to the line.”

However, Golden Valley (5-13, 0-2) would not surrender.

Behind point guard James Chevious, the Grizzlies cut the deficit to 34-27 at halftime.

“Our effort was fantastic tonight,” said Golden Valley head coach Al Vanhook. “We were a little sluggish at the beginning, but then we stepped up our intensity and started forcing bad looks.”

As Golden Valley trailed 52-46 heading into the fourth quarter, 3-pointers by Kourbine Lee and Chevious highlighted an 8-2 scoring run, which equalized the score at 54.

Lee finished with 16 points, while Chevious had 15.

Leon Jacobs also played well for Golden Valley as he went 4-of-5 in the second half to finish with 11 points.

The teams traded baskets until Jaleel Howard put the game away for Valencia with 40 seconds remaining.

Howard went glass as he nailed a bank-shot to make the score 62-58 and put the game out of reach.

“Defensively we could have done a little better, but we persevered and played hard tonight,” Collins said.

With the victory, Valencia is currently tied with West Ranch for first place in Foothill.

The Vikings will be in action again today against Stockdale, before returning to league play on Tuesday at

As for Golden Valley, the Grizzlies seek their first league win Tuesday at Hart.


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