Prep Hoops roundup 

West Ranch Wildcats guard Jaiyon Gardner (1) competes for a loose ball with Canyon Cowboys forward Tyler Best (0) in the second quarter of the Foothill League opener at West Ranch High School on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. West Ranch defeated Canyon 80-50. Chris Torres/The Signal

 Foothill League hoops’ is officially underway after a sensational opening week of league play. 

Three teams remain undefeated overall while five remain unscathed through one week of league games. 

Here are some headlines from the opening week of Foothill League basketball: 

West Ranch heating up after sixth straight win 

The Cats (6-0, 2-0) are off to the start they wanted. The win streak includes an impressive 66-64 road win over Notre Dame. 

West Ranch carried its momentum into league play with big wins over Canyon and Saugus. A strong finish saw the team soar past the Cowboys in the second half. The team then aimed to start just as hot as they could finish and instantly jumped out to a 21-0 lead over Saugus on Friday. 

Senior Jaqari Miles led the Cats with 25 points and went five of seven behind the arc. Andrew Meadow finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Jazz Gardner also finished with a double-double, compiling 16 points, 10 boards and four blocks. Sophomore Jaiyon Gardner racked up 13 points and seven rebounds. 

Point guard Darrell Morris defensively controlled the game from the tip. The tough defender took numerous charges, and had several deflections along with three steals. 

The win over Saugus marked 26 straight Foothill League victories for the Cats. They’ll shoot for 27 in a row on Tuesday when the team heads to Valencia, which is coming off a big win over Castaic. 

Golden Valley off to hot start 

The Grizzlies (5-1, 2-0) are also unbeaten in Foothill League play after week one wins over Castaic and Hart. 

Golden Valley plays unselfish basketball and rotates players more than anyone on its 13-man roster. 

Devon Strong has emerged as a strong two-way guard for Hart after a 30-point night against the Grizzlies. 

Golden Valley heads to Canyon while Hart hosts Saugus on Tuesday. 

Golden Valley forward Jayden Bryant (0) grabs a rebound over Hart forward Zach Judd (33) in the first quarter of a Foothill League game at Golden Valley High School on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Golden Valley defeated Hart 74-65. Chris Torres/The Signal

Canyon improves to 8-2 

The Cowboys (8-2, 0-1) have been busier than anyone with 10 games already this season. 

Canyon has displayed the grit and strong defense fans have come to expect from the program. 

Senior Lincoln Phillips has led the team in scoring this year, averaging just under 20 points a night.  

Canyon followed its loss to West Ranch with a 61-48 win over Verdugo Hills. Phillips led the way with 32 points and five assists. 

The Cowboys will have a shot at their first league win of the year this week at home with a Tuesday matchup with Golden Valley followed by a Friday game against Valencia. 

Trinity boys beat Beacon Hills 

Knights boys’ basketball (4-3, 0-1) had a split week. The team avenged a loss to the Redlands Adventist Academy and beat RAA 53-48. 

Trinity then took down Beacon Hills, 66-56, behind a 32-point, 15-rebound performance from junior Lucas Spring. 

Gabe Chavez finished with 23 points, six boards and three assists. 

The Knights will be away Monday for a road matchup at Gorman Learning Charter at 5 p.m. before a pair of Heritage League matchups this week. Trinity will host St. Monica Academy on Tuesday and then head out to Vasquez on Friday. Both league games will be at 7 p.m. 

Hart girls catch fire 
Hart girls’ basketball (6-0, 1-0) showed no signs of fatigue in its 75-40 win over Golden Valley. It was Hart’s fourth game in as many days with two games still left in their week’s schedule. 

The Indians have multiple players who can take over a game, shown in four of their wins being by 20 points or more. Laney Grider has led the way for Hart while Elyse Mitchell and Morgan Mack fuel the Indian offense with buckets. 

Hart will be back at home on Tuesday for a league matchup with Saugus at 5 p.m. The Indians will also have a road league game at Castaic on Friday. 

Hart forward Morgan Mack (13) drives into the lane during the second quarter of a Foothill League regular season game at Golden Valley High School on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Hart won 75-40. Chris Torres/The Signal

Canyon girls keep on rolling 
Canyon girls’ hoops (4-0, 1-0) had a light week with just one game in a big win at West Ranch. The team will flip the switch this week for an absurd six straight game days. 

The Cowboys are poised for another run at winning league while staying mentally tough. Head coach Jessica Haayer has repeatedly told her team that there’s nowhere harder to be than where they are. Canyon is the team to beat and will receive everyone’s best shot throughout the year. 

The Cowboys will have league games Tuesday and Friday during their busy week. Canyon hosts Golden Valley on Tuesday and Valencia on Friday with both games slated for 5 p.m.  

Valencia dominates Castaic 

Valencia girls’ basketball (6-1, 1-1) saw its win streak come to a halt on Tuesday when they met with Saugus for their league opener. The Vikings dropped a close game but bounced back with a dominating 71-7 win over Castaic.  

It was the program’s first time holding an opponent to single digits in six years. 

The Vikings will have a pair of league matchups this week. The team hosts West Ranch on Tuesday and heads to Canyon on Friday. Both games are slated for 5 p.m. 

Saugus heating up 
Centurion girls’ hoops (2-3, 2-0) were yet to win a game entering league play. Now, they’re unbeaten since starting.  

Saugus was in close games to start the season but just couldn’t close any of their non-league matchups out with a win. The team made a statement knocking off Valencia on Tuesday to earn Saugus’ first win while handing the Vikings their first and only loss of the year. 

The Centurions carried their momentum into Friday and steamrolled West Ranch 42-27. Freshman Channen Wilson registered 10 points and 13 rebounds in the win. Julie Phillips matched Wilson in points while EvaMarie Rios finished with seven points, three assists and two steals. 

Saugus will have its biggest test yet in a road league matchup at Hart on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The group will also be on the road Wednesday for a game at Birmingham before returning home to face Golden Valley. 

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