With two of their top players limited in terms of minutes on Friday night against Hart, Canyon girls basketball was forced to test the abilities of its bench players.
A 65-32 win at Hart confirmed the Cowboys’ confidence in their bench and gave them a sense of security for the future.
“We were able to get a lot of subs in,” said Ellie Villavicencio, “which was nice because a lot of people don’t play that much that are on the bench, but then once they get in, it’s so much fun to watch them play. That was the highlight.”
Villavicencio led Canyon (22-4 overall, 8-0 in Foothill League) with 15 points and Selasi Mawugbe followed with 12. They were just two of 11 players to sink a shot on the evening.
Mawugbe led the Cowboys defensively as well, limiting Hart’s primary source of offense, Annie Christofferson, to a 3-pointer and four free-throws.
“Selasi did a fantastic job,” said Canyon coach Jessica Haayer. “She made (Christofferson’s) life real tough tonight … she did not make it easy on her, so she did an incredible job guarding her.”
The Cowboys mounted a 32-12 lead over Hart (13-12, 4-4) by halftime, and burst into the third quarter with a nine-point scoring run to extend that lead to 50-22 by the start of the fourth frame.
With the win, Canyon remains undefeated and at the top of the Foothill League.
“(We take it) game by game,” said Haayer “That’s been our goal all season is get better one at a time, day by day. Obviously we still have two to go … and once we finish that, we’ll look to the postseason.”
Valencia 66, West Ranch 35
Nicole Weatherman had 13 points and three steals for the Vikings (15-10, 7-1), while Chyanne Pagkalinawan scored 13 points and had six assists. Marissa Howell recorded eight points and three assists and Mailey Ballard had five points and five rebounds.
Valencia next plays at Golden Valley on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. The Wildcats (11-11, 1-6) travel to Hart on the same day and at the same time.
Saugus 58, Golden Valley 36
Libbie McMahan and Monique Febles led the Centurions (18-6, 4-4) with 16 points apiece. Coach Jason Conn added that Osato Omoregie “was a beast on defense.”
Saugus hosts Canyon on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Grizzlies (11-12, 0-8) will host Golden Valley.