Junior point guard Noah Veluzat’s scoring and passing propelled Valencia to a 62-59 victory over Saugus on Tuesday night in an entertaining Foothill League opener at Valencia.
Veluzat finished with 24 points to help Valencia (12-4), which had a hard time putting away the Centurions (12-6). Valencia held a lead as large as 11 points in the second half, but Saugus found itself in position to tie the score. The Centurions had the ball with 9.7 seconds left. Valencia, however, did not let the Centurions get a good look at the basket, and the game ended with a steal.
Nate Perez finished with 19 points for Saugus and Adrian McIntrye had 14. Veluzat was given room to maneuver because Saugus was focused on stopping leading scorer Jake Hlywiak, who started the game one-for-eight shooting and finished with 10 points. Junior Camacho connected on a key three for Valencia in the final minute and finished with 12 points.
9.7 seconds left. Saugus down by three to Valencia. https://t.co/AUasytKtxI— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) January 8, 2020
“It was no surprise they were able to stay close,” Veluzat said of Saugus, whose players wore “Saugus Strong” T-shirts in warmups.
Both schools’ student sections were loud and enthusiastic in an intense neighborhood matchup.
“Great atmosphere,” Veluzat said.
Hart defeated Golden Valley 69-46. Ty Penberthy had 18 points.
Brentwood defeated Milken 83-37. Christian Moore scored 18 points and Charlie Ciaffa 15.
Renaissance defeated Price 62-54. Koat Keat had 17 points for Renaissance (14-4).
Etiwanda began the Baseline League with a 74-38 win over Los Osos. Jaylen Clark scored 14 points,. Damien defeated Upland 73-67. Malik Thomas scored 37 points.
Troy Murphy Jr. scored 16 points in Rolling Hills Prep’s 68-33 win over South Gate.
Windward opened Gold Coast League play with a 62-42 win over Crossroads. UNLV-bound Devin Tillis scored 16 points and Dylan Andrews 14.
Gardena defeated Viewpoint 64-59. Giovanni Goree had 23 points for Viewpoint.
Westlake opened league play with a 61-47 win over Newbury Park. Jacob Davis had 15 points and Kyle MacLean and JT Thompson 14 points apiece.
In girls’ basketball, Rosary upset Santa Ana Mater Dei 65-55. Mater Dei had won 90 consecutive league games.
Camacho three for Valencia. But then Perez three for Saugus. 22 seconds left. Valencia by three. pic.twitter.com/9lctqSGzjY— eric sondheimer (@latsondheimer) January 8, 2020