By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
The Canyon girls basketball team (8-2, 3-0) is now tied for first place in the Foothill League with Hart after a commanding 44-22 victory against the Valencia Vikings (3-9, 1-2) on Friday.
Saugus has won the previous two league titles and the Cowboys are looking to see that streak come to an end.
The Cowboys suffocated the Vikings all game long, producing eight steals, forcing 13 turnovers and holding the Vikings to just five points in the first half.
“Our defense was great at times, but I think we did play well,” said Cowboys head coach Jessica Haayer. “We were super physical, jumping lanes and getting steals, although we struggled to convert. We went on runs and that’s what basketball is all about.”
The Cowboys executed their game plan perfectly and held the Vikings’ top two scorers, Chelsea Besina and Libby Oxciano, to 12 total points combined. The overwhelming pressure and ability to attack the 2-3 zone kept the Vikings at bay and was the exclamation mark for the Cowboys heading into the holiday break.
The Cowboys were led by Jade Sims, who finished with 15 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Genesis Gonzalez finished with 10 points, shooting four-for-five from the field, with five rebounds and one steal. Josie Regez had an all-around game, finishing with nine points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“I think we played really well together,” said Regez. “I think (Sims) had a great game today with contributing on both sides of the court. We studied their two players who we felt were really solid and tracking them out the entire game was a big part of the win. We will be heading to Arizona soon for some good competition that will help prepare us for the rest of the year.”
The Cowboys look to continue their defensive dominance against Marlborough on Thursday while the Vikings look to get back on track on Dec. 27 against Oxnard.