Around the Valley Report for January 18th


Birmingham #21 Oscar Vargas scored two goals vs Cleveland (Pic: Eric Owens)

Boys Basketball

The Chaminade Eagles and Crespi Celts was the VST Instagram Reel Game of the Night (from our reporter Kaylie Harden) in the end the Eagles got the close road win 46-42 over the Celts. Senior forward Coltrane Marchand had 13 points for Chaminade as for the Celts they were led by Peyton White’s game-high 15 points. 

Friday will be one of the biggest nights in the VST region as the Birmingham Patriots play host to the Taft Toreadors and the #1 team in California, Harvard Westlake hosts league rival Sierra Canyon. The Wolverines have several D1 bound athletes, highlighted by Notre Dame commit Brady Dunlap, going up against a Sierra Canyon Trailblazers team with the sons of NBA legends Lebron James, Scottie Pippen and Penny Hardaway. Sierra Canyon comes into this epic matchup with a 72 game conference winning streak between their previous Gold Coast League and now the Mission League. This game is unfortunately sold out, so I strongly encourage you all to watch it either on the NFHS Network with Jake Lancer or LA36 with Randy Rosenbloom and Connor Morrissette at 7 pm.

Girls Basketball

In the battle of two teams that achieved the top prize in winning a City Championship, the Patriots hosted the Royals of El Camino on Wednesday afternoon. Patriots junior guard S’riaya Peters posted a season-high 17 points to go along with six steals, Sammy Velasquez finished with 16 points and seven steals, Lili Martinez contributed 12 points and Natalie Lopez had 11 points and eight assists in a blowout win 74-46. The Royals were led in scoring by the duo of Grace Marot and Gianna Pitts with 18 points from Marot and 10 points by Pitts. When asked about the big performance by guard Peters, head coach Victor Koopongsakorn said: “She is one of our better athletes on the floor, we’ve been waiting for her to step up and fill that roll.” Birmingham will be on the road against the other Woodland Hills based team in Taft Charter this Friday at 4, As for El Camino they will be at home against the Chatsworth Chancellors on Friday evening with tip-off slated for 4:30 pm.

The Granada Hills Highlanders were once again dominant in their West Valley matchup against host Chatsworth as they built a 23-2 first quarter advantage and won easily 73-32. Marianne Boco led the way for Granada with 18 points, four assists and three steals. Karma Paez finished with 16 points and five rebounds, while Emma Perez posted a 15 point double-double to go along with 14 rebounds, four steals and three assists. Maow Melendez and Krystal Pineda combined for 12 points. Chatsworth was led by Vicky Menjivar with 10 points and Emily Cuevas had eight rebounds. Granada will return to the Jungle as they face the Cleveland Cavaliers at 4, Chatsworth is on the road against the City Division 1 Champion Royals at 4:30 pm (both of them are Friday).

Taft improved to 13-7 and 2-1 in West Valley League after they took down rival Cleveland 78-44 behind 22 points each from senior captain and guard Evelyn Birau and last year’s leading scorer for North Hills’ Heritage Christian sophomore Aliyah Muhammad. Muhammad finished with six made three pointers. Cleveland’s Gabby Calderon was red hot against Taft scoring 20 points in the setback. Taft host the defending City Open Division champion Birmingham, as for Cleveland they have a tough one as well as they are on the road against Open Division semifinalist Granada Hills both on Friday night.

In the East Valley, Arleta won their third of last four head to head matchups against three-time defending City Section champion Verdugo Hills Dons in Tujunga 42-36, Arleta’s Maribel Rodriguez dominated the Dons with a team-high 19 rebounds and 10 points to force a now tie for second place behind Sun Valley Polytechnic. Junior Mustang captain Aaliyah Serpas finished with a double-double of her own with 11 rebounds and 10 takeaways on defense, Arleta had 22 steals in all against Verdugo. Arleta will next host the winless Monroe Vikings on Friday evening.

In the Valley Mission League, Granada Hills Kennedy has found success of late after starting the season with 10 straight losses. The Cougars went on the road to Van Nuys and walked out winners of eight straight contests after a 56-24 win. Senior guard Angelina Barcenas had a team-high 14 points, while Rosalie Ruiz had 14 points and eight steals. Volleyball player Gabriella Valles contributed with nine points, six assists and Leilani Richards finished with seven points and five steals going to this Friday’s big league matchup against the 9-2 Sylmar Spartans at home with tip-off for 6 pm.

JuCo Basketball

Valley College hosted only one Western State Conference South Division as the women who were slated to have Santa Monica Corsairs before the men won by forfeit, this was the second time the women won by forfeit joining a December 30 matchup against the Pierce College Brahmas was also canceled. The Valley College men’s basketball team had a very entertaining game against Santa Monica with former Glendale Vaqueros assistant Malik Bray returning back to the VST region as associate head coach with SMC. Freshman six-foot guard Khalil Forrester (out of Granada Hills Charter) sparked the Monarchs' big come from behind night as Valley was down as much as 15 mid-way through the first half of play. Forrester was responsible for seven of his team's 13-4 run to trim the SMC lead to 43-40 at the break. Forrester finished with a team-high 21 points off the bench, Nikko Rodriguez had 13 points off the bench, Andre Parris had 11 points, Zyaun Lee had 11 points off the bench as well. Sophomore guard Manny Kapoushian from nearby Glendale High dropped 10 points in the teams 88-84 win to improve to 4-1 in the WSC South. Valley will be away at West LA on Saturday.

Glendale College women’s team trailed by as much as 12 points in the fourth quarter, but the Vaqueros despite a poor shooting night all around came away on top 55-53 to move to 15-4 overall and unblemished in the WSC South at 5-0. Maile Yamada paced the Vaquero attack with 18 points. Faith Boulanger finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four blocks; while Aussie Jesni Cooper had 10 points and five steals. The Vaqs will also be on the road as they travel to nearby College of Canyons on Saturday.

The Valley Sports Telegram bench unit on the Moorpark College women’s team of Aaniya Hutchins (Calabasas High), Calista Arzaga (Granada Hills), Payton Love (ECR) and Success Prysock (Alemany) combined for 35 points, 15 of their teams 31 assists, 12 rebounds and six steals in a 100-36 victory over the Oxnard Condors. Moorpark women (16-5 overall and unbeaten at 5-0 in the Western State Conference North) will be at Cuesta on Saturday.

CSUN Men's Volleyball

Redshirt sophomore opposite Nathan Merren of CS Northridge paced his team with 11 kills and reigning All-Big West first team selection Kyle Hobus also finished with double-digit kills with 10. The Matadors (3-2 overall) defeated the Master's College Mustangs in four sets at the Premier America Credit Union Arena (25-22, 25-19, 18-25, 25-22). CSUN will be home vs. Menlo College on Friday evening at 7 on ESPN Plus.

Boys Soccer

Birmingham wasted no time letting the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers know they are still a force to be wreckin’ with as the Patriots fell just short last Winter in the City Section D1 Championship to South East at Valley College. Senior striker and Moorpark transfer Oscar Vargas put the Pats up 1-0 just two minutes in and Vargas scored his 2nd goal in the 31st minute in the end they tacked on four more goals in the second half to improve 11-1-2 overall and now still unbeaten 3-0-1 in West Valley league play. With the loss for Cleveland, they fell to second place just ahead of El Camino Real, who beat Granada Hills 5-3.

The 7-2-5 Royals had five different players score Anthony Villa, Pedro Perez, Mekhi Celiefe, Edan Lazarovich and Osvaldo Martinez against Granada. ECR boys will host their inner-city rival Taft Charter from the Sepulveda Basin Complex on Friday evening with kick-off for 5 on senior night, which the ceremony will be after the game.

Girls Soccer

El Camino Real 3, Granada Hills 0: Pasadena La Salle transfer and Long Beach State signee Julie Lopez led the Royals with two of the team's 3 total, while Nikki Velasco had two assists. Taylor Webster scored the other.

Sylmar 1, San Fernando 0: Brianna Avila found Joseline Rangel for the Spartans' only goal to improve the Spartans to 14-1-2 overall and now 6-0-1 in Valley Mission League heading into a possible first place showdown with Canoga Park next Wednesday at 4:30 pm.

Canoga Park 8, Reseda 0: Freshman scoring sensation Mackenzie Gwin scored four goals against the Regents, Gwin is the daughter of former CP boys coach, who guided the Hunters to six City Section Championships and the current Moorpark College head coach Jake Gwin.

North Hollywood 4, Chavez 0: Senior striker and three sport star Emily Dietz knocked in two goals for the reigning East Valley League champion Huskies. Fellow senior Byanca Garcia also scored two goals. 

If you have any results of Valley Sports Telegram region games or any ideas for profile pieces and would like to have them featured in the Around the Valley section of our website. You can Tag Me on Twitter or Email Me.

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