If anyone has seen Joe Mauldin, let Valley College basketball Coach Jim Stephens know.
Mauldin, who doubles as quarterback for Valley's football team and a guard for the struggling basketball team, was supposed to be in uniform for Valley's game at Moorpark on Tuesday night.
But he didn't show. And after Valley lost, 66-54, to Moorpark in a Western State Conference inter-divisional game, Stephens said he had no idea of Mauldin's whereabouts.
"He called somebody on the team and said there was some kind of emergency," Stephens said.
Stephens said Mauldin has not practiced with the basketball team for a week. He said Mauldin has been pursuing Division I football offers and the chance to play football in Canada.
Apparently, that precluded a basketball game at Moorpark.
"(Mauldin's absence) made a big difference," Stephens said. "Joe Mauldin is good for 20 points and 12 rebounds a game. Plus he makes things happen."
The Monarchs (1-11) were also without rebounding specialist Freddie Givens, who was out with a stomach problem.
All this just when Stephens thought Valley might be turning it around. After losing their first 10 games, the Monarchs played well in beating Trade Tech on Dec. 11. After that, the team had a week off.
"I really thought we were going to win some games," Stephens said.
Valley jumped to an early 10-4 lead, with Wayne Carlisle, who scored a team-high 17 points, scoring six on jump shots.
"(Moorpark) wasn't playing well," Stephens said. "It was an opportunity for us to upset them. But our kids don't understand (how to win). They don't know how good they can be."
Later in the half, Moorpark (10-6) took control with a 10-3 run that gave the Raiders an 18-13 lead. Moorpark led at halftime, 33-21.
In the first half, Valley shot 40% and Moorpark shot 33% from the field. In the game, Valley shot 39%, Moorpark 38%.
Elijah Maxey, who finished with a game-high 19 points, led all scorers in the first half with 17 points.
Moorpark extended its lead in the second half. After maintaining its 12-point lead for the first 12 minutes, the Raiders went on an 11-0 run that included an emphatic dunk by Antonio Fields after an offensive rebound.