No member of the Valley College men’s basketball team played for Valley last season, and it is easy to see why.
These guys are like volatile chemicals; put them together and they explode. They’re dangerous.
In the opening round of the Antelope Valley College tournament Wednesday, they lit up East Los Angeles College (1-4) in a 125-100 victory. Valley (3-2) set a tournament single-game scoring record, and the teams’ combined 225 points broke the regulation-game scoring mark.
“I spent the last Monday and Tuesday (practices) playing helter-skelter,” Valley Coach Jim Stephens said. “I think we’re going to win most shoot-outs. We’ve got some . . . good shooters.”
Granted, East L.A. players seem to disregard defense, but Valley was on fire, and the only bucket brigade in sight was composed of Steve Ward, Shelton Boykin, Shawn DeLaittre and their teammates.
Valley shot 75% from the field, and five players scored 18 or more points. Ward, who sat out last season, made 11 of 12 shots to tie Boykin for the team lead with 22 points.
Boykin, a transfer from Texas El Paso, made 11 of 15 shots, grabbed 10 rebounds and had seven assists.
DeLaittre, who attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, scored 21 points and made nine of 13 shots.
Clifford Barnes, who transferred from Cal State Northridge, made nine of 10 shots, and Andre Harrell, a redshirt last season, added 19 points.
Harrell also provided the only glimpses of defense in the game during a three-minute sequence in which he blocked a breakaway layup, drew a charge and blocked a 17-foot jump shot.
“He’s going to wind up being our best defensive player,” Stephens said.
Valley will next meet Golden West College (6-1), a 103-58 winner over West Hills College, this afternoon at 5:30.
“I think we’re going to be a good basketball team. I think the the key is defense,” Stephens said. Yesterday “there was no defense. Tomorrow we’ll probably have problems.”
Canyons 116, Barstow 90--In the first game of the day, Canyons had the most remarkable tournament scoring binge in 20 years, but it was quickly overshadowed by Valley in the next game.
Canyons recorded what was then the second highest single regulation-game total in tournament history by scoring 116 points against Barstow (4-5).
Guard Steve Valenzuela made two three-point baskets and scored 23 points to lead Canyons to its first win of the season. Forward Aaron Clark scored 22, and four other Canyons players reached double figures.
“It helps their confidence,” Canyons Coach Lee Smelser said of his 1-3 team. Up until now, “we’ve played three quality teams. We’ve played with them, but that’s as close as we’ve been.”
Canyons will face Santa Monica at 9 tonight.
Glendale 82, Desert 69--Glendale led throughout and pulled away in the final minutes for a 13-point victory over Desert, but Glendale Coach Brian Beauchemin was not pleased with his team’s effort.
“I just don’t think our cerebral effort is that good. That’s a problem,” he said. “We’re not finishing it. The first five or six minutes we get it, are running our stuff, and then relax.”
With slightly less than six minutes remaining, Desert pulled within seven points. Glendale point guard Gary Sylvester then hit a basket and a free throw to increase the lead to 10 points. Beauchemin called Sylvester’s play one of his team’s few bright spots.
Sylvester scored nine points, all in the second half. Glendale (3-2) was led in scoring by Tony Lopez and Dave Swanson with 13 points each.