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Valley Pulls an Inside Job on Moorpark, Wins, 69-50

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If the Valley College women’s basketball team was looking for an opportunity to put on a rebounding exhibition, it couldn’t have picked a more opportune time than Tuesday.

On a night when they shot just 29% from the field, the Monarchs used a dominating performance on the boards to score a 69-50 victory over visiting Moorpark in a Western State Conference interdivision opener.

Valley (10-1), last year’s state runner-up, hit on 28 of 98 field-goal attempts. But with a seemingly endless supply of inside players crashing the boards, the Lady Monarchs totaled 76 rebounds--more than enough to put back those second and third chances.

“We’re on an NBA pace,” Valley Coach Doug Michelson said of the 98 shots. “If we can get 98 shots every night, I can live with that. Tonight was a rare night that we missed putback after putback.”

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Leading the inside game for Valley were sophomore forward Wendy Bruse (17 points, 15 rebounds) and freshman center Amy Horst (10 points, 16 rebounds).

Valley point guard Katina Mines added 16 points--all in the second half--and 13 rebounds. Valley finished with more offensive rebounds (38) than Moorpark had on both ends of the floor (36).

Moorpark (5-8), which played most of the game with just six players while Valley substituted frequently, was led by Lori Church (14 points) and Tamara Pacheco (10, points, nine rebounds).

“I’m proud of the way my kids played,” Moorpark Coach Mike Johnson said. “Rebounding killed us, but we are small.”

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After the Raiders trimmed a nine-point halftime deficit to five (43-38) on Church’s three-point shot with 10 minutes 53 seconds to play, Moorpark had Valley reeling. But Mines, a returning all-conference player, scored 10 points in a row during one stretch of the second half and Valley’s depth proved too much for Moorpark.

Valley built a 55-45 edge with 4:58 remaining and kept it in the double-figure range the remainder of the way.

“We were missing layups, but we were still going after the ball,” Mines said. “In the second half, we dominated the rebounding.”

Falicia Stanley had seven points and six steals for Valley, while Diem Nguyen scored 12 points and teammate Lisa Huffaker added nine for the Raiders.

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Sparked by the inside play of Bruse, Valley jumped to leads of 9-2 and 23-9 before Moorpark rallied in the closing minutes of the first half to make it 31-22 at the break.

Employing a wide array of shots inside, Bruse (6-feet) scored Valley’s first 11 points and played a key role as the Lady Monarchs controlled the boards.

The Raiders closed within 24-16 on a Huffaker give-and-go layup with 3:42 left in the half, but a three-point shot by Valley’s Lillian Stanford followed moments later.


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