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Vikes vanquish Tigers

Valencia races past namesake, into quarterfinals

Posted: February 22, 2009 2:13 a.m.
Updated: February 22, 2009 4:56 a.m.
 
Valencia girls basketball took the battle of Valencias Saturday night, dropping Valencia of Placentia 58-47 at home to advance to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs.

The Vikings’ defense stifled the Tigers from the opening tip, helping the home team to a 14-4 lead after four and a half minutes.

“I thought we came out and did a good job of handling their pressure,” said Vikings head coach Jerry Mike. “Our ball handling was very strong.”

The Vikings (22-6) stretched their lead to 13 by the end of the first as Starla Wright scored eight points and Lindsey Hill notched six in the opening frame.

“We got up on their 3-point shooters, and we did well keeping (Aunjanay Chalmers) off the glass,” Mike said. “We knew what they were going to try to do, and we were able to contain it.”

The Vikings’ fast start and the officiating led to a meltdown from Tigers head coach Dick Katz.

After a foul was called on the Tigers (23-5), Katz stormed onto the court to confront the officials, drawing a double technical and an ejection from the game with 6:15 remaining in the first half.

“I’m still not sure what he said, but I’m glad we got the four free throws,” Mike said.
Jenny Lentz knocked down three of the four freebies to stretch the Viking lead to 20.

The incident seemed to light a fire under the Tigers, who went on a 13-4 run, but the Vikings regained control before the break to take a 15-point lead into intermission.

“We struggled today, but I’m proud we kept battling,” said Tigers captain Katie Licari. “We accomplished a lot this year, but it’s still sad to see the season end.”

The Vikings held the Tigers scoreless through the first four minutes of the third while pushing the spread to 19, but the Tigers again showed their resilience, chopping the lead to 10.

However, five points from Danielle Cavanagh keyed a 7-0 spurt for the Vikings to close the third.

“I thought everyone played a spectacular game tonight for us,” Mike said. “Starla is always spectacular, and we got excellent guard play.”

Wright led the scoring charge for the Vikings with 18 and Lentz chipped in 17. Licari paced Valencia with 15.

“We raised our intensity as the game went on, but we weren’t ready enough from the beginning to win,” Licari said.

The Tigers put together a late run to cut into the lead, but the Viking advantage never dropped below nine points.

Up next for the Vikings is a match up with Brea Olinda.

“We know Brea Olinda is going to get after us,” Mike said. “But on our team, we encourage everyone to handle the ball so we can handle teams like that.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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