By Ryan Menzie
Signal Sports Writer
In the midst of winter break, the Santa Clarita Valley sports teams don’t slow down as they continue prepping for Foothill League play heading into the second half of the season.
Burroughs High School hosted a tournament beginning Dec. 27 with four girls basketball teams from the SCV competing against schools of all sizes from across the state. Here is a look at how the schools fared in the tournament.
Saugus goes 4-1
The Saugus Centurions (10-7, 3-1) were off to a slow start following their Foothill League title but seem to have found their footing, winning four of their five games in the tournament.
“We shot the ball much better,” said Centurions head coach Jason Conn. “The girls seemed to gel a lot better from this tournament so that is going to help us heading into the Foothill League. Our starting point guard Victoria Phan was out nine of the first 10 games, so getting her back was huge for us.”
Starting Dec. 27, the Centurions beat Santa Paula 61-40 and Grant 76-19. The Centurions would carry their momentum into Dec. 28 against Sylmar, beating them 70-31.
On Dec. 29, the Centurions would cool down but still keep it close in a 44-43 loss to Taft. The Centurions ended their tournament on a strong note, beating Agoura 34-32.
Hart goes 3-2
The Hart Indians (12-4, 2-0) currently sit first place in the Foothill League standings and didn’t slow down in this tournament. The Indians wanted to stay consistent, and head coach Jerry Mike believes they did just that.
“We played consistent basketball against different levels of competition,” said Mike. “Our defense has been the most consistent force for us. We’ve shown that we can make it really difficult for the other team to score and we want to continue that.”
The Indians started the tournament with a resounding 55-38 victory against Verdugo Hills. The following day the Indians would lose to Santa Monica, 48-39. The seesaw of wins and losses would be the common theme for the Indians.
The Indians followed their loss with a 68-14 victory against Santee the following day, but lost to Chaminade the same day, 59-56. In the final game of the tournament, the Indians ended on a high note with a 52-45 victory against Trinity.
Trinity goes 2-2
The Trinity Classical Academy Knights (7-5, 2-0) are the reigning Division 5A state champions and made the effort coming into the season to play against higher-division opponents. The tournament would provide the level of competition head coach James De Monbrun was looking for.
“We wanted to challenge ourselves against good teams,” said De Monbrun. “Playing against competition like Hart was a big deal for us being a tiny school. Regardless, we take every opponent one game at a time. Go through the process of watching film, going through game preparation and doing it all over again.”
The Knights started off the tournament with a 48-44 victory against Taft and were led by Lily Caddow with 16 points and Katie Brown with 12. Kelly Lotz would finish the game with nine points but would go on a scoring tear the rest of the tournament.
The next day the Knights would beat Verdugo Hills 75-66, powered by Lotz, who finished with 36 points. Caddow, Brown and Emma Schaaf finished with 10 points each. The following day Trinity would lose to Highland, 56-55, despite Lotz scoring 25 points.
In the final game of the tournament, the Knights took on the Indians and lost 52-45. Lotz would once again lead the way with 19 points with Schaaf finishing with 12 points and Caddow finishing with 10 points.
Canyon goes 1-2
The Canyon Cowboys (13-5, 3-0) sit right behind the Indians in the Foothill League standings despite not winning as many games as they would have liked. It was a tough schedule and the Cowboys aren’t discouraged one bit.
“The kids competed and we were up double digits in all three games,” said Cowboys head coach Jessica Haayer. “Learning how to close out games against a tough group is especially important for us. Despite it all we’ve been playing better. We got to stay ready, especially this time of year, and be prepared to battle for 32 minutes.”
In their first game, the Cowboys lost to Camarillo, 65-57. The Cowboys were led by Aaliyah Garcia, who finished with 16 points, three rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Genesis Gonzalez finished 16 points and Josie Regez finished with 11 points, two rebounds, one assist and two steals.
In their next game, the Cowboys would lose again, this time a 59-56 loss to Mira Costa. Garcia would lead the way once again with 15 points, eight assists and three steals. Regez would finish with 14 points, two rebounds and one steal and Jade Sims would finish with 11 points.
In the final game of the tournament, the Cowboys would end on a high note with a 43-41 victory against Santa Monica. Garcia finished with 18 points, five assists, two rebounds and three steals. Regez finished with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals and Koko Booker finished with four points and eight rebounds.