Canyon defense suffocates Valencia in CIF-SS final rematch
Valencia's Tiana Beale (14) drives towards the basket as Canyon's Selasi Mawugbe (13) guards her at Valencia on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
By Signal Staff
Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

By Erik Boal

For The Signal

 

As if 10 months of anticipation, inspiration and motivation weren’t enough to have the Canyon girls basketball team prepared for Tuesday’s first-place showdown with Foothill League rival Valencia, the Cowboys were given a little extra incentive when the Vikings were enthusiastically introduced by their public-address announcer as CIF-Southern Section champions.

“We all made eye contact,” Canyon senior guard Talia Taufaasau said. “Nothing had to be said. We were already coming in with a huge chip on our shoulder, but that just flipped a switch and we used that to fuel us from the start.”

After Valencia scored the first five points, Canyon responded with 15 in a row and never looked back, cruising to a 58-33 victory to secure its 12th consecutive league win.

“Usually I try to come up with something inspirational during our pre-game talks, but for this one, I didn’t have to say anything,” said Canyon coach Jessica Haayer, whose team suffered a 50-45 setback to Valencia in last year’s Division 1AA final.

MORE: Foothill League boys hoops roundup: Saugus sophomores take control to take down Hart

Canyon’s Selasi Mawugbe (13) snags a rebound during an away game against Valencia on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“I already knew they were ready for it. I’m just so happy for the seniors. We didn’t shoot the ball well last week, but (Tuesday) they definitely came ready to play.”

Canyon (19-4, 5-0), which won at Valencia in consecutive years for the first time since 2012-13, used those 15 consecutive points to spark a 26-1 run that carried into the second quarter. The Vikings (12-10, 4-1) missed eight consecutive shots and turning the ball over seven times during a nine-minute stretch.

“I feel so satisfied,” said Canyon senior forward Selasi Mawugbe, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. “We knew they’re a young team and we knew we could pressure them.”

Chyanne Pagkalinawan finally ended the drought for Valencia with consecutive baskets as part of her team-high eight points, but the Vikings didn’t score again the rest of the quarter and trailed 31-11 at halftime.

“Our defense deserves credit for all of that. Our pressure and trapping and our ability to turn them over, that really got things going for us,” Haayer said. “To hold a team like that to 11 points in the first half was huge.”

It didn’t get any better after the break for Valencia, which managed only one basket in the third quarter and endured another stretch of more than eight minutes — including the second quarter — without a field goal.

“They got us out of our offense pretty quickly and we weren’t focused on running our stuff and we just didn’t have any flow out there,” Valencia coach Jerry Mike said. “We haven’t seen that kind of pressure and their trap really bothered us in the backcourt. Obviously they showed us we have some things to fix.”

Canyon executed its offense with as much precision and efficiency as it had all season, with the Cowboys connecting on 10 3-point field goals, including four each from Brooke Mitchell and Ellie Villavicencio.

Taufaasau added a 3-pointer and finished with seven points and a career-high 14 assists for Canyon, which also received eight points, 15 rebounds and five blocks from Rachel Bowers.

“It was a big win, but now our focus is on moving forward,” Mawugbe said. “We’re not going to dwell on it. We’re just going to keep it going all the way to CIF and hopefully this time, we can win it.

About the author

Signal Staff

Signal Staff

Valencia's Tiana Beale (14) drives towards the basket as Canyon's Selasi Mawugbe (13) guards her at Valencia on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Canyon defense suffocates Valencia in CIF-SS final rematch

By Erik Boal

For The Signal

 

As if 10 months of anticipation, inspiration and motivation weren’t enough to have the Canyon girls basketball team prepared for Tuesday’s first-place showdown with Foothill League rival Valencia, the Cowboys were given a little extra incentive when the Vikings were enthusiastically introduced by their public-address announcer as CIF-Southern Section champions.

“We all made eye contact,” Canyon senior guard Talia Taufaasau said. “Nothing had to be said. We were already coming in with a huge chip on our shoulder, but that just flipped a switch and we used that to fuel us from the start.”

After Valencia scored the first five points, Canyon responded with 15 in a row and never looked back, cruising to a 58-33 victory to secure its 12th consecutive league win.

“Usually I try to come up with something inspirational during our pre-game talks, but for this one, I didn’t have to say anything,” said Canyon coach Jessica Haayer, whose team suffered a 50-45 setback to Valencia in last year’s Division 1AA final.

MORE: Foothill League boys hoops roundup: Saugus sophomores take control to take down Hart

Canyon’s Selasi Mawugbe (13) snags a rebound during an away game against Valencia on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“I already knew they were ready for it. I’m just so happy for the seniors. We didn’t shoot the ball well last week, but (Tuesday) they definitely came ready to play.”

Canyon (19-4, 5-0), which won at Valencia in consecutive years for the first time since 2012-13, used those 15 consecutive points to spark a 26-1 run that carried into the second quarter. The Vikings (12-10, 4-1) missed eight consecutive shots and turning the ball over seven times during a nine-minute stretch.

“I feel so satisfied,” said Canyon senior forward Selasi Mawugbe, who had 12 points and seven rebounds. “We knew they’re a young team and we knew we could pressure them.”

Chyanne Pagkalinawan finally ended the drought for Valencia with consecutive baskets as part of her team-high eight points, but the Vikings didn’t score again the rest of the quarter and trailed 31-11 at halftime.

“Our defense deserves credit for all of that. Our pressure and trapping and our ability to turn them over, that really got things going for us,” Haayer said. “To hold a team like that to 11 points in the first half was huge.”

It didn’t get any better after the break for Valencia, which managed only one basket in the third quarter and endured another stretch of more than eight minutes — including the second quarter — without a field goal.

“They got us out of our offense pretty quickly and we weren’t focused on running our stuff and we just didn’t have any flow out there,” Valencia coach Jerry Mike said. “We haven’t seen that kind of pressure and their trap really bothered us in the backcourt. Obviously they showed us we have some things to fix.”

Canyon executed its offense with as much precision and efficiency as it had all season, with the Cowboys connecting on 10 3-point field goals, including four each from Brooke Mitchell and Ellie Villavicencio.

Taufaasau added a 3-pointer and finished with seven points and a career-high 14 assists for Canyon, which also received eight points, 15 rebounds and five blocks from Rachel Bowers.

“It was a big win, but now our focus is on moving forward,” Mawugbe said. “We’re not going to dwell on it. We’re just going to keep it going all the way to CIF and hopefully this time, we can win it.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 19 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]