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NEWS AND NOTES FROM PRESS ROW – Defense carries Whitney girls basketball to third straight win to begin season

 

Whitney High sophomore Kylie Wang sets a screen for junior Kayla Hamakawa as she drives around a Lakewood High defender in last Friday night’s 52-33 win. While Hamakawa scored one basket in five attempts, Wang and junior Layla Lacorte each scored 15 points. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

 

 

November 24, 2021

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

 

Less than four minutes into its game with Lakewood High last Friday night, Whitney High girls basketball head coach Myron Jacobs called a timeout. No one had scored yet, and the Wildcats had turned the ball over four times and missed as many attempts from the field.

Coming out of the 30 second timeout, Whitney responded by scoring eight straight points and raced to a 52-33 victory. Coupled with a 51-8 shellacking of Compton Centennial High the next night and a 58-31 victory over South Gate High this past Monday as part of the Santiago Tournament, the Wildcats improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 2018-2019 season.

“I thought we were trying to play a little too fast,” Jacobs said of the early moments against Lakewood. “I thought that we rushed shots and I thought we were making bad passes. I called a timeout to get us to settle down and realize that we were killing ourselves. The score should have been 8-0 at that time. [But] we’re still learning; every game is a learning experience.”

Sophomore Kylie Wang was off to great start, scoring seven of her 15 points in the opening quarter with three rebounds as Whitney held a 12-4 lead after the first quarter. On top of that, the defense forced nine turnovers in the first eight minutes.

While Lakewood turned the ball over twice in the second quarter, Whitney kept the scoring going and expanded its lead to 17 points with 3:20 remaining in the half. Not only did the Lancers have to deal with Wang, but they were also being flustered with the offensive performance done in by junior Layla Lacorte and freshman Haylie Wang, both of whom combined for 13 of the 17 points the team scored in the second quarter.

“We preach defense; this year is a different motto,” Jacobs said. “Defense is what is going to win us games. My girls are greedy; they’re aggressive. I think this is the most aggressive squad I’ve had. They’re more aggressive than the kids last year. They want it on defense.”

Whitney kept its foot on the pedal in the second half and led by as many as 22 points three times in the fourth quarter. Kylie Wang and Lacorte each scored 15 points while Haylie Wang added a dozen points. Kylie Wang also grabbed 12 rebounds while her younger sister added eight boards. As a team, Whitney had 13 steals with the Wang sisters getting four each.

 

 Whitney High freshman sensation Haylie Wang drives through three Lakewood High defenders in last Friday night’s 52-33 victory. Wang scored 12 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had five steals as the Wildcats have started the season with five straight wins. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

“Haylie is coming along,” Jacobs said. “I thought the first game [against South El Monte High] she had to get her feet wet, and she realized this is what high school [basketball] is about. The kid can play, and Haylie can play anywhere on the floor. She’s a kid that I honestly think by the time she gets to her senior, she’s going to be the most all-around kid here at Whitney.”

Whitney wrapped up play in the tournament and will host Bassett High on Wednesday.

In other girls basketball action, Artesia High split its first two games of the season and entertained Valley Christian High this past Tuesday night. The Pioneers will face Muir High on Monday in the first game of the Edgewood Tournament, then Bassett the next day.

Cerritos High fell to Portola High 62-54 in the opening game of the Corona Del Mar Tournament this past Monday and faced the host school and Segerstrom High the next two nights before wrapping up the tournament today and tomorrow.

Gahr High was drubbed by Schurr High 46-18 this past Monday in the first game of the Wilson (Hacienda Heights) Tournament and faced JSerra High this past Tuesday. Following the tournament, the Gladiators will meet with Calabasas High on Monday, Pacifica Christian High of Santa Monica on Tuesday and Wiseburn-Da Vinci High on Wednesday in pool play action of the St. Monica Tournament.

John Glenn High was beaten up by St. Joseph High 51-11 in its season opener and hosted Firebaugh High and Rancho Alamitos High this past Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. The Eagles host Huntington Beach High on Wednesday in the first round of the Glenn/Norwalk Tournament.

La Mirada High (0-1) travels to Whittier High on Monday and Santa Fe High on Tuesday before facing Los Altos High on Wednesday in the first game of the Glenn/Norwalk Tournament while Norwalk High is off to a 3-0 start and will travel to Montebello High on Saturday before hosting Lakewood in the first game of its tournament.

Valley Christian lost all four games in the Oxford Tournament and will face La Serna High in the opening game of its own tournament next week, along with Murrieta Mesa High and Cypress High.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Artesia is off to a hot start, winning its first four games by a combined average of 32 points. The Pioneers faced Covina High this past Wednesday in the El Monte Tournament, which wraps up on Saturday, then will host Arroyo High and California High on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively in its own tournament.

Cerritos went to Los Alamitos High this past Tuesday and will compete against Sonora High, Bonita Vista High, Mayfair High and Capistrano Valley High in pool play action of the Sonora Tournament next week.

Gahr went 2-2 last week in the Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary Tournament and will be in the El Monte Tournament where it faced Gabrielino High and Salesian High in pool play action prior to Thanksgiving.

After two straight losses, Glenn picked up a 77-74 victory against Bellflower High last Saturday and hosted Los Amigos High this past Tuesday. The Eagles will face Sunny Hills High on Monday in the first game of the Los Amigos Winter Classic, then Estancia High the next night.

La Mirada dropped a 70-66 decision to Capistrano Valley Christian High last Saturday in its opener and faced Woodbridge High, Peninsula High and Aliso Niguel High this past week in the Marina/Foothill Tournament. The Matadores meet with Foothill High on Saturday, then play Compton High on Monday, Redondo Union High on Tuesday and Orange Lutheran High on Wednesday in the Coyote Classic.

Norwalk dropped the first four games in the Rumble on Rosecrans Tournament and visited El Rancho High this past Tuesday and will compete in the Blue Pride Classic at El Rancho next week.

V.C. went 2-2 in the Providence Tournament last week and hosted Paramount this past Tuesday. The Defenders will host Pacifica Christian High of Orange County on Saturday before jumping into the Mission Viejo Tournament next week.

Whitney lost two of its first three games as it travelled to Sage Hill High this past Tuesday. The Wildcats will host Monrovia High on Wednesday.

BOYS SOCCER

Artesia began its season this past Tuesday with a home game against Paramount High and will welcome Gahr (1-1) on Tuesday before going to Norwalk on Thursday while Cerritos dropped a 2-0 decision to Kennedy High in its opener. The Dons travel to Lakewood on Tuesday while Glenn visits Long Beach Cabrillo High on Tuesday and V.C. on Thursday.

La Mirada gets its season going at Sonora on Tuesday and home against Troy on Thursday while Norwalk won a pair of 3-1 games to open the season. The Lancers hosted Montebello High this past Tuesday and will go to Bell Gardens High on Tuesday while V.C. hosts Mayfair on Tuesday.

Whitney (1-1) goes to Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High on Monday before entertaining La Quinta High on Monday and Chadwick High on Wednesday.

GIRLS SOCCER

Artesia hosted Dominguez High this past Wednesday and will travel to Loara High and Firebaugh High on Tuesday and Thursday respectively while Cerritos opens its season on Tuesday at St. Joseph High before going to Norwalk on Thursday.

Gahr split a pair of 2-0 decisions to begin the season and will host La Mirada on Tuesday before going to V.C. on Thursday while Glenn was shutout by Bellflower 9-0 in its opener. The Eagles went to Dominguez this past Tuesday and will host Cabrillo on Tuesday.

La Mirada began its season this past Tuesday at Valencia High before the game against Gahr while Norwalk (0-2-1) has been outscored 15-1 as it hosted Schurr this past Tuesday. The Lancers will also entertain Santa Fe prior to the Cerritos game.

 

 

 

 

 

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