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Valley Voices the Final Word in 107-105 Win Over Hancock : Franklin’s Shot at the Buzzer Lifts Monarchs Into Final

Times Staff Writer

The noise level began to rise midway through the first half of Valley College’s game against Allan Hancock on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t the sparse group of fans at the Valley tournament, however, who were causing the commotion.

Coach Jim Stephens was just loudly admonishing the Monarchs for their lackluster play.

Stephens had an even better reason to be excited about 32 minutes later when Gerald Franklin made a layup as time expired to give Valley a come-from-behind, 107-105 victory in the second round of the Valley tournament.

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“These guys never quit and I have said that all season long,” an elated Stephens said. “Maybe this will turn them around and get them playing together as a unit.”

Valley will play Salt Lake City, a 107-87 winner over Santa Barbara, in tonight’s championship game at Valley College. Hancock will vie for third place against Santa Barbara.

Hancock led, 93-80, with 6 minutes remaining before the Monarchs started their drive. Andre Bouvay brought the Monarchs to within 4 points at 99-95 with 2:48 remaining. Hancock quickly scored 4 unanswered points to go ahead by 8 with 1:55 remaining.

Tory Stephens led Valley’s comeback down the stretch.

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After trailing by 10 with 4:44 to play, the Monarchs closed the gap to 4 in the last 2 minutes. Trailing, 103-99, Stephens hit a 3-point basket to pull Valley within a point.

Hancock pulled ahead again before Stephens made another 3-point shot to tie the score, 105-105, with 25 seconds left.

The Monarchs inbounded the ball with 10 seconds to play and got it to Franklin, who scored as the buzzer sounded.

The Monarchs (8-5) were lucky to be close enough to catch Hancock at the end after an erratic first half that had Stephens pacing the sidelines.

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“We just don’t stay within ourselves,” Jim Stephens said. “We look for Oral (Elrington) a lot, but the other guys have to pick it up, too.”

While the Valley coach may have been annoyed with his team, he wasn’t the only agitated coach. Bob White of Hancock repeatedly yelled at his team to execute on offense.

However, White had little to say after the game as he stormed out of the gym after watching his Bulldogs relinquish what should have been a secure lead.

Joey Manliguis led Valley with 22 points and Stephens and Bouvay each added 21. Elrington had 19.

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Brian Jones scored 28 points for Hancock, Terry Butler had 26 and Tonito Colon added 24.

Valley trailed most of the first 20 minutes. The Bulldogs took their biggest lead of the half, 27-15, on 3 consecutive 3-point baskets.

Stephens, who scored 30 points Monday to pace Valley’s first-round win, kept the Monarchs close on his driving layups and accurate shooting. He scored 6 points in a row to tie the score, 31-31, with 8:20 left in the half.

Valley remained close the remainder of the period and was tied again, 50-50, with 32 seconds left before Hancock took a 54-53 lead at halftime.

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The Bulldogs jumped on the Monarchs early in the second half, frustrating Stephens even more than he had been during the first 10 minutes.

They led by more than 10 for most of the second half until Valley caught them in the final 5 minutes.

In earlier games, Orange Coast knocked out Trade Tech, 73-65, and San Diego City eliminated Cypress, 79-75.

Orange Coast plays Cypress for the consolation championship tonight.

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