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Prep girls hoops: Valencia falls against state 20th ranked team

Posted: February 20, 2013 10:21 p.m.
Updated: February 20, 2013 10:21 p.m.
 

This Valencia Vikings girls basketball game had so much going for it.

Leadership, inside players, outside players, depth and a co-Foothill League championship going into the postseason.

Yet Valencia had something very big going against it in the postseason — a series of roadblocks.

The Vikings never got to the second one as the first one — the Centennial of Corona Huskies — defeated Valencia 60-41 Wednesday in Corona in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IAA playoffs.

Had the Vikings (21-8) defeated the 20th ranked team in the state, they would have had to face the No. 1 team in the country, Mater Dei, in the quarterfinals.

It didn’t get that far, though, as Centennial’s defense proved to be a giant obstacle for the Vikings.

The Huskies (23-4) threw out different defensive looks to the Vikings that they couldn’t get beyond.

Centennial’s length made it further burdensome.

Toss in that Valencia’s most physical presence inside and a key factor in breaking the Huskies’ press, Sandra Ikeora, was in foul trouble.

“We had a good start — got up 5-0. We were competitive. We just got into foul trouble,” said Valencia head coach Jerry Mike. “The pressure was pretty strong. We talked about reversing the ball quickly and bounce passes, but their long arms, they got (in the way).”

Centennial built a 17-13 lead after a quarter and extended that to 29-20 in the second quarter.

Ikeora, who scored 24 points and was a defensive force in Valencia’s first-round victory over Pacifica, was whistled for a fourth foul in the second quarter.

Mike said he gambled by leaving her in and got burned.

Ikeora started the second half on the bench and the Huskies extended the lead to 48-27 after three quarters.

It was too big of a deficit to overcome.

Foothill League Player of the Year candidate Kalia Summerlin ended her four-year varsity career with 15 points.

Senior Jasmin Dimson scored nine points and senior Jennifer Anumba scored four points with seven rebounds.

Ikeora scored four points with eight rebounds.

“The locker room was kind of unusual. I don’t usually get emotional. It caught me off guard talking to them,” Mike said. “It was hard. I had a great time with them. I’ve had 14 teams at Valencia. I don’t rank them usually, but this is my most special team. They put the time in. There were a lot of special players, not just athletically, but personally. It was a nice, hard-working group. I got choked up. I don’t think I’ve ever done that with my team. I’ll miss this group a lot.”

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