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Foothill League girls basketball: ’Cats get repeat victory

West Ranch gets second win over Vikes this season

Posted: January 11, 2011 10:26 p.m.
Updated: January 12, 2011 4:55 a.m.

The Valencia and West Ranch girls basketball teams know each other very well.

Besides being Foothill League rivals, the two teams already faced off earlier this season in the West Coast Holiday Classic.

And in Tuesday night’s league opener at West Ranch High School, it was the Wildcats that took advantage of that knowledge to beat the Vikings 64-52.

West Ranch did it by honing in on Valencia’s top scorers, Lauren Spargo and Faith Anumba, with disciplined zone defense throughout.

“We know they jump, so we kind of anticipated what they were doing,” said West Ranch guard Michele Arima, who scored a game-high 16 points. “We knew when they were going to shoot and our girls were just there in front of them.”

It was the second time the Wildcats defeated the Vikings, with the last matchup ending in a 57-53 win on Dec. 30.

This time around, both offenses started out sluggish as the result of pressure defense.

West Ranch (12-4) focused its efforts on limiting Anumba, Valencia’s biggest inside threat. She managed to score 10 points in the game, but just three in the first half.

Wildcats head coach Randy Smith credited forward Hannah Green with a strong effort on defense.

“She had a hand in their faces all day,” he said.

The Vikings (12-5, 0-1) soon became frustrated with the scrappy defensive effort.

“Our goal was to get inside a lot, but it was a mixture of bad decisions, and we were playing too fast,” said Spargo, who finished with a team-high 13 points.

Valencia made its best effort near the end of the second quarter, finishing the first half on a 10-3 scoring run to cut the halftime lead to 27-21 in favor of West Ranch.

But the Wildcats started hitting shots in the second half, and were able to maintain a double-digit lead for most of the game.

“They outhustled us and all that, but we also beat ourselves,” Spargo said.

West Ranch guard Alexus Bryant scored 13 points and teammate Kaylie Fandino added 11 points of her own.

Given the opponent, Smith considers the league-opening win a key one for the Wildcats.

“This was huge,” Smith said. “I think Valencia is one of the top teams in the league.”


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