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Valencia hoops finds another way to win

Posted: February 7, 2014 10:48 p.m.
Updated: February 7, 2014 10:48 p.m.

It was a completely different game than last time.

No blowout.

No track meet.

No way the Canyon Cowboys were going to be embarrassed again by the Valencia Vikings boys basketball team.

And apparently there was no way the Vikings would let the Cowboys exact any kind of revenge.

Nearly three weeks after blowing out the Cowboys by 32 points, the Vikings came back from a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit and beat Canyon 61-60 at Canyon High Friday night.

There were two daggers in the comeback — Valencia’s Angel Cardenas hit a 3-pointer with two minutes to play to give the Vikings (19-6 overall, 6-2 Foothill League) their first lead since midway through the first quarter, then Dakota Abbott followed with another three to make it 61-58.

“I saw it hit the bottom of the net and the crowd went crazy,” Cardenas said of his three. “That gave us so much energy on defense. Then (Dakota hit his three) and it got more crazy.”

Cardenas led Valencia with 12 points and Abbott had 11.

Canyon (20-5, 4-4) had multiple opportunities in the game’s last minute after guard Ben Taufahema drove to the basket and made a layup to cut Valencia’s lead to 61-59.

He was fouled on the play, but missed the free throw.

On the ensuing possession, Canyon’s Jarom Sims took a charge.

Then Canyon guard Marc Cabrera drove to the basket and was fouled with 35 seconds to play.

He made 1-of-2 free throws to cut the lead to 61-60.

The Cowboys’ then forced a 10-second violation and got the ball back with 10 seconds.

Canyon had two shots in the final 25 seconds and missed them both — a 10-footer by Dean Hendrix-Davis and a half-court heave by Cabrera.

“It was two very good teams, but this was a game where one play could swing it,” said Canyon head coach Sean DeLong.

Canyon was much better this time around defensively and jumped on the Vikings early with a 16-14 lead after one quarter and a 33-26 halftime lead.

Canyon shot 48 percent from the floor in the first half, but 27 percent in the second half.

The Cowboys made 4-of-22 tries on 3-pointers.

Canyon got 19 points from Taufahema, 14 from Mark Bell and 12 from Hendrix-Davis.

Valencia hung tight throughout and chipped away slowly in the fourth quarter.

The Vikings finally caught Canyon at 55-55 when Alex Sanchez hit three free throws after being fouled on a three-point try.


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