Valencia boys basketball had an interesting season.
A new head coach tasked with handling a group of talented veterans was a challenge in itself, and a questionable late call in a game against Hart that kept the Vikings out of the Foothill League final only added to the emotions.
Finishing league play with a confident 85-39 win over Canyon (4-22 overall, 0-11 in Foothill League) on Friday night at Canyon was just what Valencia needed to refocus.
“It’s been a real adjustment for the players and for myself and I feel like as the season has gone on, I’ve been telling them all along like, we’re going to get better as the season goes on,” said coach Bill Bedgood.
The Vikings (11-15, 7-4) mounted an early 21-7 lead in the first quarter, which grew to 39-21 by halftime. Valencia’s offense was clicking – the result of chemistry that had been created over the course of the season.
MORE: Hart boys hoops wins outright Foothill League title with victory over Saugus
“It’s sharing the ball, ball movement,” Bedgood said. “We have a lot of different guys that can make a play … When they move the ball the way they moved it and everyone’s involved, everybody kind of feeds off that energy.”
Nick Jenney found himself at the center of that energy in the third quarter when he scored a total of 16 points. He also drained four 3-pointers in the frame.
Jenney said the hot streak was the result of a Thursday practice that featured solid shooting.
“I just knew when I got in that I was definitely going to shoot it. I told someone before the game that I was going to hit a couple 3’s and I definitely hit them.”
Valencia ends the season in third place in the Foothill League, which earns them an automatic bid to the postseason. CIF-Southern Section playoff brackets will be released on Sunday at 1 p.m.
“I feel like we’re better now than we were at the beginning of league,” said Bedgood. “… I like our chances in the postseason. I really knew we were kind of gearing these guys to peak late as opposed to peak early.”
West Ranch 53, Golden Valley 34
Austin Galuppo scored 18 points as he surpassed 2,000 career points as a Wildcat (15-10, 4-6). Senior Lucas Schoelen had 10 points and five boards, while Sami Dehabreh chipped in nine points.
For the Grizzlies (8-17, 3-6), Micah McLaurin scored 11 points and pulled down 21 rebounds.