Simi Valley Stands Up to Westlake
Dan van Etten and Anthony Tauriello worked through adversity Wednesday night, helping the Simi Valley High boys’ basketball team get through some of its own.
Van Etten, slumping in the Marmonte League season, did not start for the first time all season and Tauriello played with four fouls for the final 10 minutes, but the twosome sparked a 58-56 comeback victory over Westlake at Royal High.
Simi Valley played most of the game without 6-foot-3 forward Scott Schnetzler, its tallest starter, who injured his knee in the first quarter and did not return.
Tauriello scored 13 points, all in the second half, including five of six free throws in the final minute.
Tauriello picked up three fouls in the first half and a fourth early in the third quarter while guarding Steve Aylsworth.
“They called the fouls real quick but I needed to be out there,” Tauriello said. “Coach (Dean) Bradshaw just told me to play smart and to run the offense.”
Aylsworth was held to nine points and fouled out with just under a minute to play when he was called for a charge while making a shot that would have cut Simi Valley’s 53-49 lead to two.
Van Etten scored 19 points, including Simi Valley’s first 10 of the second quarter, to keep the Pioneers (14-3, 4-3 in league play) close.
“Coming off the bench gave me a different perspective when I did come in,” Van Etten said. “I needed something to shake me up and they needed me out there when (Schnetzler) went down.”
The Warriors (13-2, 6-1) took advantage of their height after the early injury. On the ensuing possession, Westlake grabbed four offensive rebounds before scoring. The Warriors had 44 rebounds to 23 for the Pioneers.
Matt Smiley had 14 points for Westlake.