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Valley Christian Basketball Teams Sweeps Whittier Christian to Move Closer to Third Place

May 20, 2021


While the Valley Christian High boys basketball team entered the week ranked third in the CIF-Southern Section Division 3AA poll, it was situated in a tie for fourth place in the Olympic League. But a 63-53 home win over Whittier Christian High changed that and now, the Defenders are a game out of third place with one to play.

V.C. trailed for most of the first quarter and was down 13-8 entering the second quarter where the game changed quick. A pair of free throws from freshman Michael Wright gave the hosts their second lead of the game at 19-18, capping an 11-5 run. The half ended when sophomore D.J. Harrington had a steal and assisted to senior Sirr Favors to give V.C. a 27-24 lead.

The momentum would continue in the third quarter as the Defenders went on a 13-8 run the first 4:48 and never looked back. Wright led the Defenders with 15 points and had six rebounds while junior Nathan Medina scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Favors also had 14 points and three steals as the team ended a four-game losing streak. V.C. (9-6 overall, 2-5 in league) would need to defeat Village Christian High tonight to tie idle Maranatha High for third place.

Prior to the game, the Lady Defenders also had to stage a rally, but this one came later that the boys. Down by as many as eight points with 5:54 remaining in the first half, Valley Christian rode the hands of senior Jordan Ebalo who guided the Lady Defenders to a 48-32 victory. Ebalo scored nine points on three of six field goal shooting in the second quarter to get her team back in the game.

Junior Samantha Sims had one of her three rebounds and her lone assist to Ebalo with 2:04 left in the half to give the Lady Defenders their second lead of the game. Ebalo nine of her game-high 19 points in the stanza and also had 11 rebounds and five assists. If that wasn’t bad enough for Whittier Christian, senior Makani Kane was basically lights out in the third quarter, hitting on three straight three-pointers within the first 2:04 of the second half as V.C. opened a 27-22 lead.

Then in the fourth quarter, the Lady Defenders scored the first 12 points to blow the game wide open. Kane added a dozen points and four rebounds as the team improved to 7-8 overall, 3-4 in the circuit and will also host Village Christian tonight. A win by the Lady Defenders and a Whittier Christian loss to Heritage Christian High will force a three-way tie for second place in the league.

In other basketball action, the regular season ends on Saturday with the playoff brackets being released on Sunday morning. The Artesia High boys team knocked off Pioneer High 55-46 this past Wednesday to force a second place tie with the Titans in the 605 League. The Pioneers (15-6, overall, 6-3 in league) are ranked 12th in Division 4AA and hosted John Glenn High on May 20.

The La Mirada High boys team defeated Summit High 61-42 this past Tuesday to improve to 7-7 overall. The Matadores will host Norwalk High tonight in the Suburban League hoping to lock down second place. The Lancers, who fell to first place Mayfair High 56-27 this past Wednesday, enter the contest at 4-6 overall, 2-3 in league.

Whitney High had a busy final week of the season, making up games that had been previously postponed. The Wildcats lost to Pioneer 70-51 this past Monday but defeated Oxford Academy 61-57 this past Tuesday. The Wildcats (4-9 overall, 3-5 in league) then hosted Pioneer on May 20 and will travel to Glenn tonight to wrap up the regular season.

On a side note from the boys, Gahr High will miss the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons after entering this week with a 2-8 overall mark and winless in six San Gabriel Valley League contests. Also, Glenn began the week winless in seven games, all coming in league action, and will be absent from the playoffs for the seventh straight season and 20th time in the past 21 seasons.

In girls basketball action, Whitney had games in every day this week beginning with a 50-41 win over Artesia this past Monday. The Lady Wildcats then came away with a 56-45 win against Oxford Academy this past Tuesday and a 38-32 win against Cerritos High the next night to improve to 9-5 overall and 7-I in league. The Lady Wildcats hosted Pioneer on May 20 and will visit Glenn tonight.


Cerritos moved closer to its fourth straight league title, this in the 605 League, after blasting Whitney 16-0 this past Tuesday on the road. Junior pitcher Erin Gibbs tossed a perfect game, striking out 12 of the 15 batters she faced. The other three outs were a pair of comebackers to Gibbs and a pop-up. The Lady Dons improved to 15-1 overall, 7-0 in league. Junior first baseman Samiya Jones went two for two, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs while senior catcher Leiloni Pina, junior second baseman Katelyn Caneda and junior shortstop Jadyn Nielsen all hit home runs. The Lady Dons hosted Pioneer on May 20 and will conclude the regular season at Glenn on Monday, home against Oxford Academy on Wednesday and at North Torrance High on Thursday.

Glenn is tied for second place with Pioneer, two games behind Cerritos, after the Lady Eagles were doubled up by Pioneer 16-8 this past Tuesday. Glenn (8-2, 5-2), which has not been to the playoffs since 1990 and has not had a winning record since 2004, will visit Oxford Academy today and visit Artesia on Wednesday.

Gahr, which is ranked 10th in Division 1, blanked Dominguez High 23-0 this past Tuesday on a combined no-hitter. The Lady Gladiators improved to 12-5 overall, 5-2 in the San Gabriel Valley League as they went to Lynwood High on May 20 and will wrap up the regular season by hosting league-leading Warren High on Tuesday and visiting Paramount High on Thursday.

La Mirada has won six straight games after completing a home and home sweep of Mayfair High, winning 8-0 last Friday while Norwalk defeated Bellflower High 10-3 this past Tuesday to improve to 6-6 overall, 3-2 in league. The two teams will meet today at Bellflower before ending the regular season at La Mirada Tuesday and Thursday.


First round action began this past Tuesday with Cerritos, ranked 10th in Division 3, defeated Millikan High 25-18, 25-23, 11-25, 25-23 in first round action this past Tuesday. The Dons were home to St. Francis High on May 20.

V.C., the second ranked team in Division 4, knocked off Gahr High 25-16, 25-12, 25-9 this past Tuesday and entertained Hillcrest High on May 20 while in Division 5, Whitney upset Rialto High on the road 25-7, 25-7, 25-18 and hosted top-ranked Martin Luther King High on May 20.


First round matches began on May 20 with Cerritos visiting Trabuco Hills High in Division 2 action. The winner will travel to fourth-ranked Los Osos High on Saturday. In Division 3, Whitney travelled to Milken Community High with the victor going to second ranked Marina High on Saturday while Gahr went to Magnolia High. The winner of that match will face the survivor of the Arrowhead Christian High/Coachella Valley High match on Saturday. Arrowhead Christian is ranked third in Division 4.


In Division 3 action, Cerritos fell to Trabuco Hills 17-1 while Whitney, which had defeated Capistrano Valley High 10-8 last Wednesday, was eliminated by Fountain Valley High last Friday. In Division 4, V.C. was ousted by J.W. North High 12-6 last Wednesday.