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Boys basketball: Seniors compete in SCV Hoops Finale

Area seniors compete in LETMESAIL and The Signal’s SCV Hoops Finale all-star competitions

Posted: March 14, 2010 1:09 a.m.
Updated: March 14, 2010 4:30 a.m.
Saugus’ Ian Engle, left, drives against Canyon’s Paul Nnaoji during the SCV Hoops Finale senior boys basketball game on Saturday evening at Golden Valley High School. Saugus’ Ian Engle, left, drives against Canyon’s Paul Nnaoji during the SCV Hoops Finale senior boys basketball game on Saturday evening at Golden Valley High School.
Saugus’ Ian Engle, left, drives against Canyon’s Paul Nnaoji during the SCV Hoops Finale senior boys basketball game on Saturday evening at Golden Valley High School.

With a collection of the Santa Clarita Valley’s top senior talent gathering in Golden Valley High’s gym, there was a lot of promise for impressive shooting and athletic dunks.

The SCV Hoops Finale didn’t disappoint.

The first ever all-star game and dunk contest benefit organized by The Signal and LETMESAIL had enough to fill several highlight reels.

Players were split into two teams consisting of players from Golden Valley and Canyon squared off against players from Valencia, West Ranch, Saugus and Santa Clarita Christian.

The gate proceeds benefited LETMESAIL, a local charity that provides social, recreational and educational activities for teenagers and adults with disabilities.

And while Canyon’s Wesley Bartole was disappointed by his halftime dunk-contest showing, he still earned the game’s MVP award by leading GC to a 72-61 win over VSWS on Saturday night.

Bartole scored 16 points to lead all scorers and added four rebounds in a game that featured plenty of offense and typical all-star game defense.

But it was SCCS’ Davion Cotterell who stole the show.

Cotterell said he just wanted to represent his school well, but he did much more than that, winning the dunk contest and the crowd with his impressive athleticism.

“That was fun to get out there and play against the bigger players in the area,” said Cotterell. “Because I play for a smaller-conference school, it was fun to play with them.”

He definitely left an impression with his first dunk, which came with a little before the halftime contest, with help from Saugus’ Jawhar Purdy and at the expense of Golden Valley’s Trevor Wiseman.

GC was ahead 8-5 early in the first half when Wiseman was caught off guard by Cotterell finishing a perfectly timed alley-oop pass from Purdy with a two-handed dunk.

The gym erupted and a stunned Wiseman could only look down and smile after Golden Valley head coach Chris Printz, who announced the game, rhetorically asked the crowd with a laugh, “Guess who just got dunked on.”

Wiseman, a 6-foot-8-inch point guard who was named co-Player of the Year for the Foothill League, was impressed and surprised by the 6-foot-2 shooting guard.

“I didn’t see (Cotterell),” Wiseman said with a laugh, defending his case. “I don’t think anyone saw him.”

Cotterell scored 10 points and added two steals.

It was the perfect prelude to the halftime dunk contest, which the Cardinal standout won with a two-handed reverse lob dunk after struggling to finish a one-handed, 360-degree windmill jam.

Golden Valley’s Brandon Hale, who lost in the finals after struggling to finish his second attempt, may have had the dunk of the evening in the first round of the contest. Hale jumped over Canyon’s Kris Quant with an authoritative one-handed dunk, as the Cowboy guard stood near the side of the key.  

“I was shocked,” Bartole said, of Hale’s display. “I always knew he had hops, but when he leaped over Chris, I was ready to go. I almost walked out of the gym.”

With little defense and a collective green light to shoot, Valencia’s Stevie Sansone and Brandon Bennett and Golden Valley’s Taylor Statham hit multiple shots from beyond the arc.

Sansone went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc to lead his team with 13 points, and West Ranch’s Elias Lucas scored 11 as VSWS built a 26-17 lead with six minutes left in the first half.

Bartole and Wiseman started to give GC momentum toward the end of the first, but VSWS still held a 35-28 lead into the break.

As the game progressed into a fun-to-watch, SCV hoops’ version of can-you-top-this, the height advantage on the GC side began to make a difference.

Wiseman began to get it going inside and dominated the boards as he did through most of league play, finishing with 15 points, eight rebounds and a pair of steals.

Wiseman, Bartole and his Canyon teammate Tere Adams combined for 15-6 run to start the second half, which gave GC a lead it didn’t relinquish.

But it was one of the few athletic contests where the end result hardly mattered to either team, as everyone was joking around afterward.

And in the end, it was all for a good cause.

“With the end of basketball, we thought, ‘Let’s give the Santa Clarita Valley one more chance to get good hoops,’” said Pam Sorlagas, executive director of LETMESAIL. “What I’m most excited about were the parents and schoolmates that came out in support. We wanted people to learn about LETMESAIL so we can meet our goals for providing activities for teens and adults with disabilities in Santa Clarita.”



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