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Vikes lock down Katella in Anaheim

Valencia hits big free throws at the end of the game, opponent fails to

Posted: February 21, 2009 1:14 a.m.
Updated: February 21, 2009 4:55 a.m.
In the past, Valencia was not known for its lock-down play, but the Vikings turned on the defense Friday night at Katella of Anaheim, winning 39-38 in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA boys basketball playoffs.

Sophomore guard Jake Kelfer hit two free throws with only two seconds left in regulation that proved to be the difference.

Kelfer finished with five points on the night.

“We call that a character game,” said Vikings head coach Rocket Collins.

On the road, in the playoffs, and against a team with a similar record, Valencia (19-9) had to dig deep and make plays in clutch situations.

On the ensuing play, the Knights (19-9) threw a pass the length of the court.

Valencia was called for a blocking foul, putting Katella at the line for two shots with one second left, and a chance to win the game.

The Knights missed them both, sending the Vikings to the quarterfinals.

Sophomore Lonnie Jackson led the Vikings with 16 points while senior forward Emmanuel Anumba played well defensively.

Close throughout the game, the two teams went into halftime tied at 18.

The second half saw more of the same back-and-forth action and a two-point Katella lead after three, 28-26.

With 3:10 left in the game, the Vikings found themselves down three points.

Collins called a timeout.

“Hey, it’s not done,” he said to his team. “We are going to win this. We are going to win this.”

Clutch shooting and more lock-down defense later, that’s exactly what they did.

Coming into the game, the Vikings had given up an average of 59.4 points per game.

Valencia plays the winner of Canyon Springs of Moreno Valley and Leuzinger of Lawndale Tuesday.


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