SCV athletes battle it out in Boys & Girls Club championship

Stephen Colvard shoots a free throw in a game of basketball. The Boy's and Girl's club basketball championship took place Thursday, May 24 at the Newhall Clubhouse. Eddy Martinez/The Signal.

In the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club Basketball Championship, the Valencia Boys & Girls club team traveled to Newhall to take on the Newhall Bulls at the Boys & Girls Club of America on Thursday.

Leading for most of the game, Valencia ran away with the title as they defeated the Bulls 49-41.

Behind team captain Stephen Colvard and his game-high 18 points, Valencia controlled the tempo of the game throughout.

“I felt great with this being my first time in the league,” Colvard said. “We have a great group of guys that have such good chemistry on the court and we play for each other so yeah it’s a great win.”

Comprised of all Valencia High School students but one, Colvard, along with head coach Jose Barba hand-picked the team as another way to keep playing basketball and keep learning the skill set after high school ball ended.

For the Bulls, Avant Neal was the catalyst early as head coach Rodney Taylor kept imploring his team to get the ball down low and spread out. Finishing the game with 14 points Neal was the biggest threat for the Bulls that could create and get a shot up.

Heading into halftime, Valencia led 29-24.

In the second half, Valencia’s Christian Pena primarily ran the offense for as he consistently found Colvard driving in the lane or posting up down low.

Pena finished the game with 11 points and eight assists.

In the final frame, it was more of the same. Colvard kept on getting the ball in prime scoring position setting him up for easy layup or foul to send him to the foul line.

“We just didn’t play any defense,” Taylor said. “Defense wins games. Along with missing three of our better players, you are not going to win games no matter who you’re playing against if you don’t play defense.”

With the final score reading 49-41, Valencia captured the game and the league title.

“I love all these kids. Why volunteer and do all this? Because I love the kids and I run a program in here for the kids. Plus it’s fun,” Taylor said.

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