Posted by Opinion piece on February 05, 2017 at 15:19:43:
In Reply to: Re: AV Girls Open to Challenge posted by We ready Lopes nation on fire on February 05, 2017 at 11:07:01:
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: : : : : : : : : Anyone went to this rivalry game tonight. Any info on who won and if it was close as the first game last month? Thanks
: : : : : : : : Canyon won 64 - 48. Exciting game. Canyon was clicking on cylinders.
: : : : : : Canyon girls hand Valencia first home league loss since 2013
: : : : : : By Mason Nesbitt - February 3, 2017, 11:29 pm
: : : : : : From the top right section of the visitors’ bleachers at Valencia High on Friday, Canyon students kicked off a chant unspectacular in nearly every sports setting. Not this one.
: : : : : : A group of fans in green and yellow began, “I believe that we will win. I believe that we will win.”
: : : : : : The Vikings hadn’t lost a Foothill League home game since 2013. They hadn’t lost a league game, period, in their last 23 outings.
: : : : : : Yet, the fourth-quarter chant rose in intensity and sincerity. Canyon’s girls basketball team believed it, too.
: : : : : : The Cowboys outscored the Vikings by 20 in the second half and won 64-48 to keep the league title in limbo and lift the burden of a five-game losing streak to their hosts.
: : : : : : “I don’t know, it was crazy. That’s what we wanted since I was a freshman and we finally did it,” said Canyon junior Talia Taufaasau, who scored nine of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, where the Cowboys made 9-of-12 shots collectively.
: : : : : : Canyon (16-9 overall, 7-1 in Foothill) trailed by four at the half but turned Alaina Garcia’s eight third-quarter points and Valencia’s cold shooting into an eight-point lead heading to the fourth quarter of its most crucial win of the year.
: : : : : : Now, if Canyon and Valencia win out, the teams will share the Foothill League title: the Vikings’ fifth straight and the Cowboys’ first since 2014 (co-champs).
: : : : : : Cowboys coach Jessica Haayer said before the game the key was to control Valencia’s Kayla Konrad. Not necessarily to erase her, but to keep her from a prolific night.
: : : : : : Gabriela Sanchez (13 points) got the message. The Canyon sophomore tracked Konrad like a mind-reading bounty hunter, holding the 2016 Foothill League Player of the Year to 17 points on 3-of-10 shooting.
: : : : : : “Heck of a job,” Taufaasau said of Sanchez. “Her defense on (Konrad) was spectacular. She made Kayla fight for every bucket she got.”
: : : : : : Jade Jordan scored 14 points for the Vikings (20-5, 7-1), whose last home league loss came to Canyon in 2013.
: : : : : : The last time the Cowboys beat Valencia in any setting came back on Jan. 23, 2015, and this year’s losses to the Vikes were especially painful.
: : : : : : The Vikings — who could have clinched at least a share of the Foothill title Friday — beat Canyon by one in a preleague tournament final and followed that with a 47-45 win in league.
: : : : : : “We’re back to the drawing board tomorrow,” said Valencia coach Jerry Mike. “We have to focus on the last two and close it out. It’s still cool — they had a great run. We’ll be fine.”
: : : : : : Hope that settles it for all you Canyon hatters. They are legit first betting Sierra in summer and now Valencia at their home court.
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: : : : Congrats on big win and grabbing a share of league title.
: : : : Hopefully you can carry the momentum into the playoffs.
: : : : But please, please stop talking about a meaningless win in summer. It is just embarrassing.
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: : : OPEN here we come
: : AV Girls Open to Challenge
: : Basketball team on CIF Watch list for playoffs
: : By Noe Garcia
: : Valley Press Staff Writer
: : Lancaster - Basketball's Open Division Watch List is reserved for the best of the best. The creme del creme, the powerhouses, the cream of the crop, the big dogs, however you put it - it's for the best teams.
: : The watch list is a list complied of the top schools regardless of school size, public or private, parochial or charter. The Open Division is meant to pin the best competition against one another come playoff time.
: : The first poll with the watch list for the CIF Southern Section was released on Jan. 9 and that's where the Antelope Valley girls basketball team found themselves. It may have come as a surprise to some. After all, AV was in Division 3AA just two seasons ago and in 3A last season.
: : But AV has definitely had success over the past couple years, illustrated by their move to Division 1A this season. The thing is though, it's only been overwhelming success since the 2014-2015 season when they went 25-2 and 14-0 in the Golden League. The girls lost in the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section playoffs, but followed it up with an incredible 2015-2016 season, which had them roll through the regular season at 30-3, and once again undefeated in league play. AV swept through the CIF SS Division 3A bracket and managed to make it all the way to the Division IV state championship game last year where they lost to Cardinal Newman 39-37.
: : The most recent watch list was published Jan. 30 and there are currently 24 teams on the list, including AV. Since 2000, the teams on the list have combined to win 22 state Championships. These are teams that have historically been great and have been title contenders for years. Not teams that just had success for the last couple years. AV is clearly in some tough company and although the list can be anathema to some, the team is embracing every part of it.
: : "I think it's a great honor just to be amongst that list because that list is amongst the elite in top teams across the Southern Section," Antelope Valley coach Deon Price said last Friday during film session.
: : Price, the girls basketball coach since 2009, wasn't surprised to see his team on the watch list because he knows what his team has accomplished and can accomplish moving forward. He said he just wants his kids to get the respect they deserve.
: : Senior shooting guard and captain Tatyana Lyles echoed her coach's sentiments.
: : "We work so hard in season and winning Golden League three times in a row," Lyles said. "I'm happy to see us actually on the watch list to get more people on notice that we actually have ballers out here and we're working hard to know what we have to do on the court."
: : And it's true, the girls have worked hard and have had tremendous success. Let's take a minute to recap their 2016-2017 season so far: 21-1 on the season, 11-0 in Golden League play, currently on a 19-game winning streak and haven't lost since Dec. 1, 2016. The Antelopes are blowing away opponents by an average margin of victory of 39.4 points with their largest win coming by 72 points and have three players on the team who averaged double digits.
: : "There's been a low of sweat, there's been a lot of soreness, there's been a lot of tears that have got us where we are and that's daily," Price said.
: : All of this surely justifies placing a team on the watch list right? Well even if it doesn't, AV's names is on it and senior point guard and captain Tyler Smith says bring it on.
: : "They put on their jersey and their shorts and their socks and their shoes like we do," Smith said. "So I'm not worried about anything. I believe in my team."
: : "I feel like we're the underdog, very much so, if we go into the Open Division, but I don't care about the big name of the school. I don't care because you can get beat so it doesn't matter to me."
: : The team realizes they're going to be playing much better competition than last year regardless of whether they make the Open Division or stay in Division 1A. Currently three other teams from 1A are on the watch list as well: Fairmont Prep, ML King, and Orangewood Academy.
: : Junior power forward Niyah Page believes it's a great accomplishment and blessing for the team to be on the watch list because of all the work they've put in. She's hoping to get in the Open Division to compete against the likes of Mater Dei and Alemany.
: : "They'll most likely play just like us with the speed and the defense and the pressure," Page said. "Defense wins championships so as long as we play defense it's going to win the game for us."
: : Price said he doesn't view better-skilled teams as problems moreover that his his will just have to play their best. His girls will have to give 100 percent every time they step out on the court and make sure to outwork their opponents each night.
: : During AV's workout session, Price is adamant they get a good workout in. The girls lift weights, do lunges and prepare themselves for the rest of the season. There's a little more than two weeks left and only three games on their schedule - all against teams they've already beaten this season.
: : The biggest thing for Price right now is health. He wants his girls to stay healthy heading into he playoffs and to also stay humble. The sky is the limit for the girls and he wants them to realize they're playing for something big.
: : The Open Division will also be determined in the next couple weeks and whether they make it or not, the AV girls are clearly ready to take on whoever's in their path to try and win a championship.
: : "All we can control is if we're getting buckets or not and if we're playing great defense,' Price said. "We want to play till the end of March so whatever level or whatever that place is at, as long as we're playing at the end of March, we're good with it."
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My 2 cents - opinion piece
I think the Antelope Valley girls have had a nice two year run but I do not think they have earned a spot in the Open Division. They have played a relatively weak schedule COMPARED to the other open watch list teams. They basically are 2-1 outside of their league against their toughest competition (Canyon, Horizon Christian, Granada Hills). I think they should be commended on a great season and I think they are capable of winning 1A, but outside of their inflated record they have not earned the honor of being an Open Division team (look at their MaxPreps ranking compared to other Open teams and their strength of schedule). Open teams are given an automatic state playoff bid that basically is earned thru the regular season schedule, you cannot award a team a state playoff bid with their regular season schedule. They need to earn a state bid going on a playoff run in 1A.
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