Villa Park States Case With Upset of Canyon


Coach Kevin Reynolds of Villa Park has taken issue all season with the county Top 10 basketball poll. And his Spartans didn’t like reading predictions in the newspaper that Canyon would have an easy time in the Century League.

At the very least, unranked Villa Park’s 60-56 overtime victory at home against the 10th-ranked Comanches might finally turn some heads with poll voters.

It was the second time Villa Park (15-7, 5-1) has defeated Canyon this season, (15-7, 2-4), which began 13-3 but has stumbled in league play.


Junior guard Alex Will scored 18 points, 12 of those on three-pointers, and had seven points in overtime for Villa Park. Center Alan Verzani had 21 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.

Canyon’s Ali Goodman (23 points, seven rebounds) and Andrew Gaulden (11 points, nine rebounds, four steals, three blocked shots) battling Verzani under the basket.

“I don’t think the Century League gets that much respect,” Reynolds said. “Canyon is the best 2-4 team in Orange County.

“And I’ll tell you this, hearing that Canyon would cakewalk through this league was the motivation our guys needed.”

The teams combined to make 42 of 110 field goal tries, there were 29 turnovers and for most of the first half it looked like neither team wanted to take charge.

The Spartans led, 41-35, at the end of the third quarter and later Villa Park looked like it had this one in hand after taking a 49-41 fourth-quarter lead on a three-point basket by Will with 3 minutes 48 seconds left.


But the Spartans made several poor shot selections, turned the ball over several times and Canyon rebounded. Brad Evan’s tip-in beat the buzzer and the game went into overtime tied, 51-51.

“We have had trouble holding leads all season,” Reynolds said. “It’s the kiss of death for us.”

Will’s 10-foot baseline jumper put Villa Park in front, 57-55, with 48 seconds left. Then he hit two free throws 35 seconds.

In other Century League games:

El Modena 49, Santa Ana Valley 47--Nick Soderstrom hit a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining in the game for El Modena.