Around the Valley Report for January 24th

The Armenian General Benevolent Union of Canoga Park girls’ basketball team squared off against the Pacifica Christian Seawolves of Santa Monica in the battle of two that started the night undefeated in the Independence League and this contest was conducted on senior night for girls’ basketball, soccer and cheer. So emotions were in the air for this game.

The Titans found themselves ahead of their opponent 5-2 after a made jumper from senior captain Mary Malumyan, unfortunately their lead didn’t last long as the Seawolves went up 15-5, but the Titans didn’t let that hinder them one bit as they responded right back with a 16-1 run to built a 21-16 advantage at the 6:43 mark of the third period. It was a back and forth contest the rest of the way. The Titans were trying to dethrone a Seawolves squad that has had their number over the previous nine meetings and this season was no different as the visitors walked out the gym with their nine straight victory after a 51-47 decision.

The Titans were led on the scoresheet by junior guard Sacha Mitilian with 27 points, thanks to 7 long balls; while senior Lory Kankababuan had eight points. This game ultimately won at the free throw line for Pacifica going 13 of 24, while the Titans were 3 of 12 at the line.

Despite the small setback, Titans coach Vic Karapetian had this to say about the contest, “I’m just proud of girls. We battled and we were right there in the end and that’s what you want.” AGBU will have a Independence League rematch on Thursday, February 2nd with tip-off slated for 5pm in Santa Monica to conclude the regular season. The Titans should be headed to the playoffs with their 2nd place finish in league, Playoffs will start February 7th.

In other basketball action, several girls’ teams picked up new league championship hardware after Louisville blew aside the host Tologs of Flintridge Sacred Heart 62-15 to take the Sunshine League. Holy Martyrs also won on the road in North Hollywood against the Oakwood Owls to win the Liberty League 48-42 and the Falcons of Crescenta Valley moved one step closer to the Pacific League title against the Burroughs Bears on the road, our reporter Lorenzo Antonio had you covered. The USC Trojans top recruit in JuJu Watkins and Bronny James Jr. were selected to play in the annual McDonald’s All-American game which will be held on March 28th at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Both Watkins and James Jr are each seniors at top school Sierra Canyon, marking the first time they have had a boy and girl selected in the same season and the fifth boys’ selection. Harvard Westlake senior Brady Dunlap has reopened his recruiting after Notre Dame coach Mike Brey announced recently that at the end of the 2022-2023 season he would be retiring.

The Heritage Christian Warriors girls’ team stayed one game behind Olympic League leader Village Christian after a big senior night victory against the Valley Christian Defenders 60-31. As for the Crusaders, they traveled to Pasadena to face a struggling Maranatha team and led the game 21-0 after the first period of play and in the end won it 67-26. Junior forward Layla Davis finished with a team-high 15 points; sophomore guard Alicia Lara had 12 points and four steals; two-sport athlete sophomore Delilah Caudillo had 10 points; Bryanne Lopez-Wood collected 10 rebounds, nine rebounds and four assists to make the Crusaders to 18-5 on the year and a unblemished 5-0 mark in Olympic League action.

In girls’ soccer, the Pacific League showdown was a pretty fun one between the Burroughs Bears and the Falcons of Crescenta Valley at Memorial Stadium in Burbank. Jaylin Turner of Burroughs got the hometown team ahead 1-0 in the 18th minute, before Crescenta Valley's Olivia Clark tied it at 1 in the 41st minute. Quaiana Laughlin gave the Bears a 2-1 advantage in the 73rd minute, but that lead didn’t last long as Giovana Aldaz responded two minutes later to end in a 2-2 draw. As for coach Suza, she had this to say about the team’s effort against the Bears, “It was a good battle, we’re in it and it’s tough to play away from home.” - from Lorenzo Antonio

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