Canyon girls basketball beats Valencia for undefeated season and league title
Canyon's Talia Taufaasau (3) goes for a shot as Valencia's Mailey Ballard (2) guards her at Canyon on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
By Haley Sawyer
Friday, February 9th, 2018

The Canyon girls basketball team was tired of sharing.

Last season, the Cowboys split the Foothill League title with Valencia and battled against them throughout the season, up until a CIF-Southern Section final.

This season, after a 45-37 win over the Vikings on Friday at Canyon, the Cowboys are undefeated and alone at the top of the Foothill League.

“It feels amazing,” said senior Selasi Mawugbe. “I know the first time we won, the word I used to describe it was satisfied. But this just feels amazing … we’re glad that we’re taking this into CIF playoffs.”

The Cowboys (24-4 overall, 10-0 in Foothill League) jumped out to a 10-4 lead as the first quarter came to a close, controlling the game through tight defense and rebounding.

By halftime, Valencia (16-11, 8-2) had come within striking distance of a lead at 24-20. They then took a 26-24 lead on a Chyanne Pagkalinawan basket with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer from Rachel Bowers and a layup from Gabby Sanchez put Canyon back on top with a 29-26 advantage.

“We just kind of focused on our game,” said Mawugbe. “We focused on controlling our offense and our defense and trying to control the pace of theirs.”

Mawugbe and Rachel Bowers were tied for first on the team with 15 rebounds apiece.

Mawugbe, in particular, had 13 offensive rebounds.

“They slacked off with her,” coach Jessica Haayer said of Mawugbe. “When you’re not guarding somewhere, you’re out of position, it allows you to get (offensive) boards and she did her job and if she wasn’t going to hit the shot, she was going to clean it up and give us another chance at it.”

MORE: Hart boys hoops wins outright Foothill League title with victory over Saugus

For the Vikings, Pagkalinawan scored nine points and had three steals. Chidinma Ikonte added eight oints and 10 rebounds, while Tiana Beale scored eight.

Valencia finishes the season second in the Foothill League standings. CIF-SS playoff brackets for girls basketball will be released on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Despite winning by double-digits, Haayer knows that with each game played against the Vikings, the rivalry only grows.

“That rivalry will continue,” she said. “…It’s going to keep going and I’ll rebuild, they’ll rebuild and we’ll keep going and I don’t think it’ll ever die.

“But it’s going to make them fuming. Now those younger ones got a taste of it, and so now I’m sure they’re hungrier now more than ever. But so did mine.”

Valencia’s Chyanne Pagkalinawan (25) drives in toward the basket as Canyon’s Selasi Mawugbe (13) guards her at Canyon on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.

Canyon's Talia Taufaasau (3) goes for a shot as Valencia's Mailey Ballard (2) guards her at Canyon on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Canyon girls basketball beats Valencia for undefeated season and league title

The Canyon girls basketball team was tired of sharing.

Last season, the Cowboys split the Foothill League title with Valencia and battled against them throughout the season, up until a CIF-Southern Section final.

This season, after a 45-37 win over the Vikings on Friday at Canyon, the Cowboys are undefeated and alone at the top of the Foothill League.

“It feels amazing,” said senior Selasi Mawugbe. “I know the first time we won, the word I used to describe it was satisfied. But this just feels amazing … we’re glad that we’re taking this into CIF playoffs.”

The Cowboys (24-4 overall, 10-0 in Foothill League) jumped out to a 10-4 lead as the first quarter came to a close, controlling the game through tight defense and rebounding.

By halftime, Valencia (16-11, 8-2) had come within striking distance of a lead at 24-20. They then took a 26-24 lead on a Chyanne Pagkalinawan basket with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer from Rachel Bowers and a layup from Gabby Sanchez put Canyon back on top with a 29-26 advantage.

“We just kind of focused on our game,” said Mawugbe. “We focused on controlling our offense and our defense and trying to control the pace of theirs.”

Mawugbe and Rachel Bowers were tied for first on the team with 15 rebounds apiece.

Mawugbe, in particular, had 13 offensive rebounds.

“They slacked off with her,” coach Jessica Haayer said of Mawugbe. “When you’re not guarding somewhere, you’re out of position, it allows you to get (offensive) boards and she did her job and if she wasn’t going to hit the shot, she was going to clean it up and give us another chance at it.”

MORE: Hart boys hoops wins outright Foothill League title with victory over Saugus

For the Vikings, Pagkalinawan scored nine points and had three steals. Chidinma Ikonte added eight oints and 10 rebounds, while Tiana Beale scored eight.

Valencia finishes the season second in the Foothill League standings. CIF-SS playoff brackets for girls basketball will be released on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Despite winning by double-digits, Haayer knows that with each game played against the Vikings, the rivalry only grows.

“That rivalry will continue,” she said. “…It’s going to keep going and I’ll rebuild, they’ll rebuild and we’ll keep going and I don’t think it’ll ever die.

“But it’s going to make them fuming. Now those younger ones got a taste of it, and so now I’m sure they’re hungrier now more than ever. But so did mine.”

Valencia’s Chyanne Pagkalinawan (25) drives in toward the basket as Canyon’s Selasi Mawugbe (13) guards her at Canyon on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.

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![...]
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[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]