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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW : Area basketball teams to be busy in final days of month

By Loren Kopff• @LorenKopff on Twitter

A pair of area teams began pool play action in a condensed version of the annual Larry Doyle/Dan Wiley Orange County Tournament of Champions with losses as all but three area basketball teams are in their final non-league tournaments. While John Glenn High was blasted by Aliso Niguel High 64-26 this past Monday to fall to 9-5, Valley Christian High was in a more competitive game against Edison High. 

The Lady Defenders, who trailed by as many as 18 points late in the third quarter, couldn’t rally enough in the fourth quarter and ran out of steam in a 60-50 loss. V.C. trailed by four points after the first quarter before the Chargers went on a 16-6 run over the first 5:54 of the second quarter. The Lady Defenders (4-9) scored the final five points of the half on a three-pointer from junior Makani Kane and a steal and basket from junior Jordan Ebalo, both baskets coming in the final 21.4 seconds.

V.C. was down 42-33 with 2:44 seconds left in the third quarter before Edison went ion a 9-0 run and again trailed by 13 points with 5:15 left in the game before the Defenders tried to make one final run. But they missed their final five shots of the game as the Chargers scored the final four points of the contest.

Junior Faith Boss led V.C. with 16 points while Ebalo had a dozen points and senior McKenna Bushong another 10 points. Bushong also had four steals in the fourth quarter. V.C. faced Segerstrom High on Dec. 26 and will meet Cypress High today to wrap up pool play action while Glenn played Marina High on Dec. 26 and will see Wilson High today.

In other girls basketball action, Artesia High takes a well-deserved extended break from action after winning the first 12 games of the season. The Lady Pioneers will next be in action on Jan. 4 against Rise Kohyang High.

Cerritos High (5-5) began pool play action in the Best of the West Tournament, hosted by Ayala High, on Dec. 26 against Ayala and will face Valley View High today and Murrieta Valley High on Saturday. Gahr High (3-9) is also in the Best of the West Tournament and faced Vista Murrieta High on Dec. 26. 

La Mirada High entered the Whittier Tournament at 4-9 and faced Santa Fe High on Dec. 26 in pool play action. The Lady Matadores will play El Rancho High today and Millikan High on Saturday. 

Norwalk High, which began the week at 7-5, faced Yorba Linda High on Dec. 26 as part of the Buena Park Tournament while Whitney High, which lost to Corona Santiago High 58-45 last Saturday, will be off until Jan. 3 when the Lady Wildcats (4-10) host Calvary Chapel Downey High.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Artesia has had a long time off from action, having not played since Dec. 13. The Pioneers (8-8) are scheduled to play Bishop Amat High on Jan. 3 while Glenn was dominated by Corona High 73-13 this past Monday in pool play action of the Showcase on Shoemaker. The Eagles (3-9) hosted Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High on Dec. 26 and will entertain Cabrillo High today.

La Mirada is 6-7 and will next be in action on Thursday at St. Anthony High while Norwalk (6-7) is playing in the Anaheim Tournament and play Acaciawood High today. 

Valley Christian lost its first game of the season on Dec. 14 in the championship game of the St. Margaret’s Tournament. But the Defenders (12-1) knocked off Van Nuys High 79-34 last Saturday and faced Arleta High on Dec. 26 in pool play action of the San Pedro Pirate Shootout. V.C. will also face Banning High today and San Pedro High on Saturday.

Whitney defeated Marquez High 58-38 this past Monday in the first game of the Showcase on Shoemaker to improve to 5-8 and hosted Troy High on Dec. 26 and will be home to California High today.

The only soccer action comes from La Mirada, where the boys team met Magnolia High and Ocean View High on Dec. 26 in the Marina Tournament, which ends on Saturday while the girls team will play La Habra High and Warren High today in the North Orange County Championships today.

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