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The Day After Basketball: Vikings still on the rise

Ikeora continues to emerge as a scoring option

Posted: January 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Hart's Lewis Stallworth, left, and Valencia's Angel Cardenas, right, battle for a loose ball in Friday's game at Hart High School.

 

 

While the Valencia Vikings boys basketball team saw its undefeated start to the Foothill League season come to an end on Friday night, the girls team was doing just the opposite.

Sandra Ikeora was dominant for the Vikings in a 67-42 victory over the rival Hart Indians, scoring 24 points and pulling down 12 rebounds, while teammate Kalia Summerlin added 18 points and dished out five assists.

“(Ikeora’s) the key. We’ve been telling her that since maybe last year, not only because she’s key in our zone, she’s our center she can block shots and be dominate on the boards. We’re looking for 10 boards, four or five blocks that she can bring to the table,” Valencia head coach Jerry Mike said. “When she scores more than a few it’s a really nice bonus. She had 37 points for the two games (last week). If she can do that it’s wonderful.”

That extra dimension to the Valencia offense should come in handy on Tuesday, when the Vikings take on a West Ranch team that features senior center Hannah Green.

“We’re going to be aware of their shot blocker,” Mike said. “We’re still going to try to attack her and with (Ikeora) going hard and Jennifer Anumba going to the basket and keep Whitney (Branham) in front of us.”

Against Hart, the Vikings maintained a double-digit lead for much of the game, with the Indians hitting finding soft spots in the Valencia zone and capitalizing with 3-point shots to stay within striking distance before the Vikings pulled away.

“Hart was playing hard and doing some good things,” Mike said. “They hit several threes. They had some good intensity and they hit several shots and threes in our zone.”

Over at Saugus, it was a tough night for the Centurions in a 62-27 loss to Canyon.

Faye Osburn led the Saugus effort with eight points, as the Cowboys stayed right on the heels of the first-place Vikings.

For Canyon, Alia McCoy and Jaya Schultz led the way with 16 points each. Kali Vittallo added another 14 as the Cowboys cruised to improve to 3-1 in league play.

“Saugus is never easy. Coach (Kent) Eaton does a good job with his girls and we played well and shot the ball well,” said Canyon head coach Chuck Johns. “The girls rebounded well, something we never did really well against Valencia (in a 40-38 loss on Tuesday). We were more aggressive, better intensity on defense and just got after it.”

The Cowboys will host Hart at 5 p.m. on Tuesday before beginning the second half of league play.

Valencia hosts West Ranch and Golden Valley hosts Saugus, with both games also at 5 p.m.

“We just have to keep our intensity up,” Johns said. “Hart is an improved team and coach (Terra) Palmer has done a good job of building the program. Everyone who plays us is going to give us their best effort and their best game and that’s a part of it.”

West Ranch received a tough battle from visiting Golden Valley, but was able to hold off the Grizzlies 60-47 behind 29 points from Branham.

 

Boys

The Valencia Vikings made waves with a 3-0 start, but having not played neither first-place West Ranch nor second-place Hart finally caught up with them.

The Indians jumped on the Vikings in a 73-56 victory on Friday, with the guard combo of Lewis Stallworth and Myles Franklin once again leading the way.

The two combined to score 39 points (23 for Stallworth and 16 for Franklin) as Hart was never in any serious jeopardy.

Saugus picked up its first win of the Foothill League season, ending a string of close losses with a 53-29 victory over Canyon in a sloppy game that featured 22 Cowboy turnovers.

The Centurions lost by five to Valencia to start league play, and blew a lead in the fourth quarter against Hart to lose by two points in overtime.

Now, they’ll look to parlay Friday’s win into a Foothill League run.

“The rest of the year ... “We’re hungry,” said Saugus head coach Derek Ballard. “We’re angry.”

Over at West Ranch, things were similarly lopsided.

Missing Leon Jacobs, the Grizzlies were simply outmatched by the first-place Wildcats.

West Ranch opened up a commanding 23-7 lead after one quarter of play en route to an 80-57 win to improve to 4-0 in league play.

Next up around the league, Saugus will look for its second league win when it hosts Golden Valley, Hart will travel to Canyon and Valencia will meet West Ranch at home. All games are scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

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