Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Heralds end ‘Cats’ run in BB semifinals

By Mike Miller

The Lady Wildcats of Villanova saw their amazing run of 16 consecutive victories come to an end last Saturday when they fell to Whittier Christian in the CIF-SS semifinals, 48-30. The loss was the second this season to Whittier Christian, who also defeated VPS back in December, 46-20. With the win, Whittier Christian will play Maranatha in the Division VAA title game next week.
In their semifinal matchup, Villanova struggled to score points and after falling behind 27-14 at halftime, their 13-point deficit proved to be too much to overcome. The Heralds were led by Jacqueline Joseph (13 points) and Kristen Schafer (12 points) and neither player missed a shot from the field in game. Both Joseph and Schafer went six for six and the Heralds shot better than 47 percent from the floor to overtake the Lady Wildcats.
“Whittier Christian was a good team, but we definitely were not outmatched,” said head coach Sarah Angell. “We just couldn't make a shot to save our lives. We shot 17 percent from the field and 37 percent from the free throw line (we shot a total of 32 free throws).
“We didn't allow Whittier Christian to score for about five minutes in the third quarter, but we weren't able to take advantage of our great defense because we couldn't seem to put the ball in the basket,” said Angell. “In a big game like Saturday's, we just couldn't afford to shoot so bad as a team.”
Villanova was led by senior Katilin Reilley, who continued her stellar play with 12 points. With the loss, VPS will bid farewell to the trio of Reilley, Maryrose Vigorita and Hannah Hoffman. The three seniors established a winning tradition at Villanova by winning an incredible four consecutive league titles.
VPS fans have a lot to look forward to in the future as well. Angell and staff will welcome back several key players, including Rebecca Parziale, who was greatly missed this season after suffering a season-ending injury.
Current freshman Hannah Kolbeck will be looking to improve over the summer and, after a terrific freshman campaign, Kolbeck could become one of the most dominant players in the county.
“Despite the loss, I am really proud of how the girls played and what they accomplished as a team,” said Angell. “They never gave up and played hard until the buzzer sounded at the end of the game.”

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Villanova bound for semifinals

‘Nova’s Hannah Hoffman, right, celebrates victory with teammates Gabrielle Root and Maryrose Vigorita. The 19-7 Wildcats will head to La Habra Saturday to face the 22-7 Whittier Christian Heralds.

By Mike Miller
If you are a fan of fast-paced basketball, you would have loved the CIF quarterfinal game that showcased Villanova (19-7) and Rosamond (23-4) last Wednesday night. Villanova battled back from a 12-point first-half deficit to beat a well coached and well-prepared Rosamond team, 74-63.
The game was much closer than the final score would show. The Lady Wildcats were slow out of the gate and fell behind 15-9 in the first quarter. Had it not been for the early play of Katilin Reilley, VPS would have been in serious trouble in the first half. Reilley scored six of the nine first-quarter points for the Wildcats and it was not until 6:42 to go in the second quarter when someone other than Reilley made a shot from the field. Enter freshman Hannah Kolbeck. Kolbeck went on a roll, scoring a game-high 27 points and nabbed 17 rebounds in the winning effort, solidifying herself as one of the area’s best young players to keep an eye on.
After trailing 36-29 at the half, head coach Sarah Angell and her staff made some adjustments and her crew executed perfectly in the third quarter. The Lady Wildcats erased their seven-point deficit and took a three-point lead into the final frame thanks to the fact that they outscored the Roadrunners 20-10 in the quarter. Senior Hannah Hoffman joined Reilley and Kolbeck in the scoring column by adding 24 points of her own, including several clutch free throws.
The Roadrunners were determined to go home with the victory and they made a couple of fourth-quarter runs at VPS that had the student body on the edge of their seats. After Rosamond’s Amanda Smith banked home a three-pointer, the VPS lead was cut to three. From there, the trio of Reilley, Kolbeck and Hoffman salted the game away with put backs, free throws and open looks as a result of crisp passes from their teammates.
Rosamond was led by Smith and her 20 points. Smith did get her fourth foul early in the third period, which contributed to the 20-10 run by VPS. Arianna Pelayo also played well, scoring 19 points, but she simply could not contain Kolbeck on the block.
After the game, Angell said, “What won that game for them was heart. It was all heart. To be down almost 10 points at halftime, and then to win by more than 10 points against this team shows heart.” When asked if the furious pace in the first half worried her, she added, “No. Our subs were just as capable as theirs. I knew if necessary, we could count on them. This was a total team effort.”
Next up for Wildcats is a familiar opponent in Whittier Christian (22-7). The two teams matched up back in December, with Whittier Christian winning, 46-20. Villanova is amuch different team now, having won 16 consecutive games and they appear to be getting stronger as the play-offs wear on.
The semifinal game will be played tomorrow. Visit for the location and time of the game as well as updates on the game as soon as they become available.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

VPS Heating Up

The Lady Wildcats hosted Rosamond tonight in a CIF quarterfinal match up and overcame a 12 point first half deficit to win 74-63. Freshman Hannah Kolbeck led Villanova with 27 points and Hannah Hoffman added 24. See Friday's OVN for the full story and quotes from VPS head coach Sarah Angell.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

‘Nova advances in finals

Wildcats girls’ hoops beat Kern Valley, 42-30

By Mike Miller
After earning a first-round bye, the Lady Wildcats of Villanova (18-7, 10-0) got their first taste of play-off basketball last Saturday when they played host to the Kern Valley Broncs (17-7, 6-4) and came away with a 42-30 win.
Despite being a low-scoring affair, the game was exciting and was closer than the final score would show. VPS set the tone early in the game with their defense and did not allow the Broncs to get many good looks at the basket. Freshman Hannah Kolbeck paced the Lady Wildcats early with seven first-half points, and she controlled the inside game for VPS.
After the first quarter, VPS had a 10-4 lead and they were able to stretch that to 23-13 at halftime thanks in large part to the play of Kaitilin Reilley and Maryrose Vigorita, who along with Kolbeck scored all but two of the Wildcats’ first half points.
The Broncs, who play in the High Desert League, came out in the second half behind the shooting of guard Lupita Anzaldo and proved that they would be worthy opponents. Late in the third quarter, Kern Valley cut the VPS lead to seven points and appeared to be on the verge of making a run at the Wildcats.
Those hopes were dashed when freshman Madison Harwell hit two big second half shots and grabbed a few key rebounds to slam the door on Kern Valley’s momentum.
Kolbeck led the Wildcats in scoring with 12 points, followed by Reilley, who scored 10. Anzaldo led all scorers with 16 points in a losing effort.
With the win, the Lady Wildcats have advanced to the quarterfinals tonight against Rosamond at 7:30 p.m. The Roadrunners come to town with a 23-3, 10-0 record and they are riding a 14-game win streak, just one shy of the Lady Wildcat’s 15-game streak.
The winner will take on the winner of the La Reina vs. Whittier Christian game in the semifinals on Saturday. Check for tonight’s play-offs updates.

Toads win thriller, 47-46

Final-seconds' three-pointer by Chris Thomas against Newbury Park Adventist advances Thacher in basketball play-offs

By Mike Miller
Thacher head coach Jason Carney called his team’s second-round play-off win against Newbury Park Adventist, “One of the most exciting sporting events that I have ever been around.” The Toads extended their play-off run last Friday night with an epic win on a deep three-point basket by senior Chris Thomas with only 15 seconds left in the game, giving Thacher the 47-46 win.
The Toads were down, but not out, late in the game. Trailing by 11 points with less than five minutes to play in the game, Thacher got down to business as they chipped away at the 11-point deficit. They were led by Thomas, who scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Due to an injury and illness, Josh Jackson was asked to step up and he delivered in a big way with nine points and nine rebounds.
Jackson gave the Toads valuable minutes down the stretch and gave his team a one-point lead with 58 seconds to play. Newbury Park Adventist scored again, giving them the 46-44 lead. Carney said, “We called time with 30 seconds left and set up a play for Trevor (Currie); they double-teamed him and he calmly hit Chris (Thomas) for the game winner.”
“Our kids showed so much heart down the stretch and gutted out an enormous victory. Unbelievable,” added Carney.
With the win, the Toads earned another shot at the Rosamond Roadrunners. Rosamond bounced Thacher out of the play-offs last season with a 47-26 win in the semifinals. Rosamond comes into this matchup as the No. 1 seed this year and they have an impressive 22-5 record on the season.
Carney said, “They have everyone back except for one guy and they have once again earned the No. 1 seed. It will be an extremely tall order for us, but the guys are thrilled to have the opportunity to play a team of this caliber and will be up for the challenge.”
The game was played last night at Rosamond.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thacher Boys Win First Round Contest

Chris Thomas and Austin Krause both scored 14 points as the Toads kicked off their 2008 play-off run in style by beating the California Military Institute, 56-41. Thacher used a 24-2 run in the first half to take a 31-15 lead into half time and they never looked back from there. See Friday's edition of the OVN for details and stats from tonight's big win for the Toads.

Tip Off Time Changed In Thacher Game

The Thacher boys' basketball team will tip off at 6:30pm tonight against the California Military Institute rather than the standard CIF play-off time of 7:30pm. The game will be played at Thacher.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ojai Valley Basketball Teams Headed To Post Season

Three local teams have earned the right to extend their seasons in hopes of winning a CIF-SS title. The Thacher boys' team will play first. They will host the California Military Academy on Wed., Feb. 13. The Thacher girls' squad will also host their first round play-off game when they welcome Victor Valley Christian on Thurs., Feb. 14.

The Villanova Lady Wildcats earned a bye in the first round due to their number four seed. VPS will play the winner of Kern Valley and Newbury Park Adventist. Villanova will host the second round game on Sat., Feb. 16. All games are slated to start at 7:30pm unless agreed upon by the two schools. See Wednesday's OVN for more information on these match-ups.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Villanova girls’ hoops win league title

43-38 win over Carpinteria earns ‘Cats’ basketball play-off berth

By Mike Miller

One statement can sum up the seniors on the Villanova girls’ basketball team; they are winners. With their 43-38 win at Carpinteria last Tuesday night, the Lady Wildcats were crowned Frontier League champions. This latest title is the fourth for the trio of Maryrose Vigorita, Kaitlin Reilley and Hannah Hoffman, in their four years as varsity players.
With the win against Carpinteria, the Lady Wildcats have stretched their winning streak to an impressive 12 games. VPS played La Reina last night as they attempted to go undefeated in Frontier League play. With the Wildcats being on such a torrid streak, you can bet that not many teams will be happy to see them in their CIF play-off bracket when the post season tips off next week.
The current seniors are sporting some impressive credentials. Vigorita has averaged 6.1 points per game, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game in league play. Off the court she is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, was awarded the Coach’s Award and Wildcat Award in tennis this year, and received All-League Honorable Mention honors last year in basketball. She has earned a GPA of 3.7 while at Villanova and plans to pursue a career in early childhood development. She has already been accepted to Cal Lutheran, Whittier College, and San Francisco State.
Hoffman has also been solid in league play for head coach Sarah Angell. She has averaged 7.4 points, five rebounds and four assists per contest. Hoffman received an All-League Honorable Mention honors in volleyball this year and was a member of the All Academic Team. Last year in basketball, she received First Team All-League honors in basketball and was named to the Second Team All-CIF. Hoffman has earned a GPA of 4.1 while at Villanova. She plans to pursue a career in communications and has already been accepted to University of San Francisco, San Francisco State, and St. Mary’s College.
Reilley has been the anchor for the Lady Wildcats this year, averaging 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per Frontier League contest. She has earned First Team All-League honors in volleyball, track and basketball and was selected to First Team All-CIF last year in basketball. Reilly plans to pursue a career in psychology and has already been accepted to San Francisco State but her top choices include Santa Clara University and St. Mary’s College.
Check the OVN web site next week for updates and to see who the Wildcats will play in the first round of the play-offs along with a complete breakdown of their play-off game.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

VPS Girls Earn Frontier League Title

With their narrow win over Carpinteria last night, the Lady Wildcats earned the title of league champions as they improved their overall record to 16-7 and 9-0 in league. VPS will look to go undefeated in league play tomorrow night when they travel to La Reina to play their regular season finale. This league title is the fourth in the last four years for Villanova's senior class. See Friday's OVN for a run-down of the three seniors.