Junior Libertine Oxciano stole the show in Valencia girls basketball’s senior night game against Golden Valley on Friday.
Oxciano poured in a game-high 18 points, all coming in the first half to lead the Valencia Vikings to a 53-21 win. The junior took over immediately and registered a solo 8-0 run to start the game.
Golden Valley (10-13, 3-8) had plenty of spurts of offense but too many unforced errors killed the team throughout the game.
“I’ve just been working a lot more on driving and getting the basket,” Oxciano said. “I’m trying my best not to settle for shots.”
Valencia (16-8, 7-4) also got a boost from freshman Cara McKell off the bench. The freshman added 14 points and three rebounds in the win.
Oxciano never let up and kept forcing her way into the lane to go up 31-13 at the half. The junior also added five rebounds, three assists a block.
The Grizzlies never found their groove and stumbled into their third straight league loss.
Junior Alyssa Taufassau led the team with seven points, five rebounds, and three steals.
It has been a rocky season for head coach Charise Hall and Golden Valley. Hall was pleased to see her team fight to the end even though the group had nothing to play for, already being eliminated from postseason contention.
“One thing we want to be known for is that we’re not quitters,” Hall said. “We’re gonna fight to the end. So we want to make sure that we’re always fighting and not quitting. I don’t care what the scoreboard looks like. This team has been through a lot and has been keeping their energy and spirits up. I just wanted them to leave it all on the floor today.”
The Vikings have now won five of their last six with the one loss coming by three points to Canyon. Valencia has just one game remaining this season and will look to potentially spoil Hart’s perfect season in league play.
Golden Valley will close out its season on Tuesday with a home matchup with West Ranch at 5 p.m. Hall believes the program has a bright future with the bulk of the team set to return next season.
“I got four sophomores that really come in and play and a lot of them only played their first year, last year,” Hall said. “With Ally coming up and being a big leader, that helps turn the corner for our team and she’s only a junior. So we have a lot of young ones really buying in and really stepping up, so we’re proud of them.”
As for Valencia, Oxciano believes the team has made huge strides this season as they close in on playoffs.
“We’ve come really far,” Oxciano said. “We struggled a lot in the beginning with just rotations but we’re communicating a lot better and we’re rotating a lot better, which is really beneficial for us.”
Hart closes out its regular season at Hart on Friday at 5 p.m. The Vikings posted a huge upset victory over the Indians last year. Valencia will look to do the same this year with a much-improved team and more even playing field.