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Prep girls hoops: Tables turned

Canyon gets revenge on Valencia to pull into first-place tie

Posted: February 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 2, 2013 2:00 a.m.

From left, Canyon High's Monica Friedl, Delaney McCann and Marissa Schwimmer celebrate their 52-45 comeback win over Valencia High on Friday night at Valencia.

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The Canyon Cowboys girls basketball team’s celebration Friday after their 52-45 win over the Valencia Vikings at Valencia High rivals only one other celebration in Foothill League play this year.

That other celebration belongs to the Vikings after their 40-38 win over Canyon on Jan. 15.

Canyon’s win on Friday means that both teams are likely to finish the season as co-Foothill League champions — that is if each can win its final two games.

The win was huge for Canyon (20-4 overall, 7-1 Foothill League), being that the three-time defending Foothill champions could have seen their league title hopes disappear with a loss.

“They said the first time that they wanted it more than us. But we wanted it more than them (Friday),” said Canyon senior Jaya Schultz. “We toughed it out.”

The Pepperdine-bound Schultz admittedly struggled for the first half of Foothill League play and was a non-factor in the first half Friday.

But she came alive late, scoring all 12 of her points in the second half, with eight coming in the fourth quarter.

It was a period that Canyon went into trailing 37-32 — Valencia (18-7, 7-1) was just eight minutes away from clinching its first Foothill title since 2005.

But Canyon came out strong with a 14-0 run that saw the Cowboys take a 46-37 lead with 3:22 to play.

Schultz hit a 3-pointer to close out the run, then pumped her fist and let out a yell of self-approval.

She said a major reason for the run was Canyon changing its defense from zone to man to try and give the Vikings a different look.

Valencia controlled the first quarter, jumping out to a 21-12 lead, but was outscored 10-3 in the second quarter.

The Vikings got back on their feet in the third, but couldn’t get going offensively in the fourth until Sandra Ikeora’s turnaround jumper, then Kalia Summerlin’s steal and layup cut the lead to 46-41.

The Canyon lead was still five with 35 seconds left, but Cowboys guard Kali Vittallo hit all four of her free throws down the stretch.

She scored seven of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.

“I don’t really know how we won this one. But in the last two years, we’ve lost some games at the buzzer or been in close games and we handle it better in pressure situations,” Vittallo said.

Canyon’s Alia McCoy was leading alone in the first half, scoring nine of her team’s 10 points in the second quarter, en route to an 18-point performance.

Valencia was led by Summerlin with 13 points and Jennifer Anumba with 10.

But the offense was never the same after a hot first quarter.

“The girls are probably down, but they have nothing to feel bad about,” said Valencia head coach Jerry Mike. “We can sulk (now) then go (9-1) in league. We’ve got to get back.”



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