Foothill League boys hoops roundup: Valencia flexes depth in win over Golden Valley

Valencia’s Ben Grant (11) takes the ball downcourt during a home game as Golden Valley players guard him on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

With its top scorer out of the lineup, the Valencia boys basketball team went deep down its bench to supplement the loss.

Dexter Akanno (rest) didn’t suit up Friday night for the Vikings.

But 11 of his teammates chipped in points — four scoring in double figures — to give Valencia an 85-58 win over Golden Valley at Valencia.

Golden Valley’s Joshua Martin (22) works his way passed Valencia’s Josh Assiff (15) at Valencia on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“It was a great opportunity to play some other guys,” said Valencia coach Bill Bedgood. “We feel confident playing some of those other guys. Some of them hadn’t played in two or three games. For us, it was huge to get them in.”

Josh Assiff and Ben Grant led the Vikings with 15 points apiece. Jake Hlywiak (12) and Jayden Trower (10) made up the rest of the Valencia ensemble to score in double figures. Assiff also led Valencia with eight rebounds while Trower collected three blocks.

“We wanted to get out there early and run and set the tempo because they were 2-1 (in league) also, so they were right in the mix,” Assiff said. “From our first player to our last player we believe we have one of the deepest teams in the valley and I think that showed tonight.”

Golden Valley and Valencia traded baskets to open the game, with Bedgood calling a timeout with the Vikings up 12-11. Valencia finished the quarter on a 12-0 run, though, and went into the half with a 42-27 lead over the Grizzlies.

“The worst part about it was I thought we were taking great shots,” said Golden Valley coach Larry Keys. “We missed about 17 shots in the first half that I think we’d normally hit. And we had nine turnovers (in the first half).”

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Colt Cangemi led Golden Valley with 14 points. Joshua Martin contributed 12 points and Jhani Levias had 11 points. Micah McLaurin grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.

Keys noticed his team playimg with a little extra emotion as it was the first time the teams met since Vikings junior forward Richard Kawakami transferred from Golden Valley in November. Kawakami had four points and four rebounds Friday.

“There was a lot of energy in the building,” Keys said. “Obviously, we talked about it beforehand. I thought we maybe played just a little too personal, instead of it being team vs. team.”

Valencia will have a tight turnaround as it plays a nonleague contest Saturday against Sierra Canyon, which was ranked third in the latest CIF-Southern Section DIvision 1 poll.

The Vikings continue league play next Tuesday at home against Canyon while the Grizzlies host West Ranch.

West Ranch 51, Hart 45

West Ranch dealt Hart its first Foothill League loss of the season and just its second loss in its last 12 games.

Austin Galuppo and Andrew Austin led the Wildcats (11-6, 2-2)  with 15 points apiece.

Hart (15-6, 3-1)  resumes league play next Tuesday at home against Saugus.

Saugus 60, Canyon 31

Adrian McIntyre led Saugus (14-6, 2-2) with 20 points as it rebounded from a loss Tuesday against Golden Valley.

Luke Bodeau added 14 points and 10 rebounds while Dylan Spring grabbed 10 rebounds as well to go with eight points.

Canyon (4-15, 0-4) is seeking its first victory since a win over Righetti on Dec. 28.

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