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 ojaivalleynews.com 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.