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League-title contender rolls

Valencia girls take care of Oxnard on first day of their own tournament

Posted: December 1, 2009 10:24 p.m.
Updated: December 2, 2009 4:30 a.m.
Valencia basketball player Lauren Spargo charges to the basket Tuesday at Valencia High. Valencia basketball player Lauren Spargo charges to the basket Tuesday at Valencia High.
Valencia basketball player Lauren Spargo charges to the basket Tuesday at Valencia High.

The Valencia girls basketball season is officially off and running.

The Vikings kicked off their season with a 77-45 win over Oxnard at Valencia High on Tuesday on the first day of the 2009 Valencia High-Five Classic.

Led by Vikings junior wing player Lauren Spargo, and a supporting cast of eight seniors, the Vikings raced out to an 18-2 lead before Oxnard (0-1) head coach Brett Chapin called a timeout to stop the proverbial bleeding.

It didn’t work.

Spargo responded with a steal off the inbounds pass and then found Lindsey Hill for a layup in transition, as the Yellowjackets had no way to stop the Vikings’ athleticism or scoring.

The Vikings (1-0) built up a 41-17 halftime lead and were able to maintain it with tough defensive pressure.

“Their shooting was just on fire, and we were very cold,” Chapin said. “No excuses though, they were a good team and outplayed us.”

Valencia head coach Jerry Mike said with such a large amount of experience on his team, post play was really the biggest question mark for the Vikings going into the season-opener.

Valencia’s Starla Wright was a senior leader who graduated after averaging 17 points and nine rebounds for the Vikings last year.

Spargo’s play must have soothed some of those concerns.

Spargo put up 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, four steals and dished out five assists playing on the wing and helping in the post when needed.

“I think we felt a little pressure,” Spargo said, talking about replacing Wright’s production. “But we’ve got (Faith Anumba), and she’s a beast down low for us. We’ve got a lot of good players on this team, so I don’t think there’s just one go-to (player).”

Anumba scored 14, grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots for Valencia, as the Vikings were able to keep the game moving in transition according to plan.

Mike said he couldn’t have been happier with his front-court play. It didn’t hurt that his defense garnered 12 steals from the combined efforts of Hill, Spargo and senior Jenny Lentz.  

He added that it didn’t give him a chance to look too hard at his team’s set offense, but the plan was to score points on the move early and often regardless.

“It’s hard to call sets when you’re out there and running,” Mike said. “But that’s what we’re going to be doing a lot of this year. A lot for running and a lot of trapping and points in transition.”



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