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Valencia veterans take care of business

Vikings girls hoops beat rival Hart 65-45

Posted: January 24, 2014 10:30 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2014 10:30 p.m.
 

Valencia girls basketball relied heavily on the rookies Tuesday.

On Friday, the veterans were the load bearers.

The Vikings are now the only undefeated Foothill League team after defeating the upstart Hart Indians 65-45 on Friday at Valencia High.

Senior Sandra Ikeora scored 18 points and was a gamechanger in the post on defense and senior Paige Nealy scored 16 points off the bench.

In Tuesday’s win against Canyon, Valencia was paced by three freshmen and sophomore.

Although the Vikings (14-6 overall, 4-0 Foothill League) ended Friday’s game with a 20-point cushion, Hart’s ability to handle the ball and swing it around made the Indians (11-9, 3-1) a formidable challenger.

But the team that has already won more Foothill games in 2014 than the last two seasons combined, refused to go inside and challenge Ikeora.

“I respect their hustle, but I don’t like them,” Ikeora said, a smile on her face, about Hart’s challenge.

When Hart did go in, she blocked four of their shots.

She was one difference, and there were two others — rebounding and shooting.

Hart hanged tight early, down 17-12 after a quarter and 34-27 at halftime.

But the Indians gave up 20 points off offensive rebounds in the first half.

In the game, Hart shot 6-for-15 from the free-throw line and 30 percent from the field.

“I went in the locker room (after the game) and told them, ‘You know you can beat Valencia,’” said Hart head coach Terra Palmer. “We just didn’t execute. This is where we planned to be. We are going to have to fight Valencia. We are going to have to fight Canyon. We lost the fight tonight.”

Hart got 15 points from Breze Kimble, but that was on 6-of-24 shooting.

Emma Johnson scored 12 points for Hart.

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