West Valley High’s Lambert Salvatierra drives to the hoop between Central Valley’s Andre Munoz-Nieves (left) and Dojah Alido (right) during their Anderson Tournament semifinal game on Friday night. West Valley won 62-34. (Photo by Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)
ANDERSON – Well-balanced scoring combined with hard-nose, harassing defense has been the key to success thus far in the preseason. Add in the Shasta County Sports No. 9 ranked player (Sean Proscher) and it is a nightmare for the opposing team.
West Valley dominated Central Valley 62-34 on Friday night in the semifinals of the 60th annual Anderson Tournament due in part of the excellent ball movement, sharpshooting, and the overlooked tough defense the Eagles play. Five of the 10 3-point field goals coming in the third quarter was the dagger.
The first quarter saw the Eagles jump at to a 17-9 lead over the Falcons. They got the ball moving well and opened up the quarter with a 7-0 run. The Eagles then extended their lead to 13 in the second quarter with only two total buckets from either team in the final four minutes of the half to lead 28-15.
The second half saw the Eagles heat up and take complete control of the game. Sean Proscher helped the Eagles pull away with 12 of his 19 points in the 3rd quarter. The Eagles went on to cruise to victory.
Central Valley couldn’t find its rhythm. The Falcons finished the game with only 34 points. Missed opportunities early caused the game to slip away from the Falcons by the end of the first half. Still down only 13 points at intermission, the Falcons found a spark with a 6-0 run in mid-third quarter. That wouldn’t be enough though as the Eagles emptied their bench up by 26 with 3:00 remaining in the game.
Hunter Morrow scored 10 of his team-high 14 points in the third quarter for CV. No one else had more than six.
The well-balanced scoring for West Valley was aided by a 23-point third quarter, the Eagles’ highest scoring quarter of the night. Proscher finished with 19 points, Logan Scholberg 11, Tyler Chan 11, and 10 from Mike Smith. Marcus Francescut also chipped in with 6.
“I’m just trying to be aggressive, coach wanted me to be aggressive compared to the past years,” said Proscher. “I knew CV was going to be a tough matchup and they were going to pressure us. Back cutting hard and Lambert getting us open looks helped us out tonight.”
Proscher shined with another double-digit performance. All 6 of his first half points coming in the first quarter by way of a 3-point basket from the left wing and three free-throws. The second half is where Procher heated up. Two free-throws out of the half, an and-1 layup a few possessions later, followed by another layup and two three-pointers. Proscher checked out of the game early with a little over 3 minutes remaining in the game.
Chan spoke on the team’s defense and said “ Our defense worked hard tonight and that’s what coach has been telling us to do. We work hard every night and try to get the win.”
What makes West Valley this good so far this preseason? The defense. The man-to-man harassing pressure and the ability to switch to a zone, and communicate to make switches. All this results to holding teams to around 30 points a game so far in the tournament.
“The one thing I enjoy is we are playing really good defense,” said West Valley coach James O’Brien. “I think it sometimes kind of gets lost. They (CV) had 34 points tonight and the night before we held the Klamath Union team to 30 something points. Obviously we’re shooting the ball well, but when we’re playing good defense, we’re moving and we’re talking it helps us. If you continue to play good defense that is what is always going to keep you in games.”
West Valley advances to the Championship game on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
West Valley 62, Central Valley 34
Central Valley 9-6-14-5—34
West Valley 17-11-23-11—62
Central Valley (3-6): Morrow 14, Munoz-Nieves 6, Cawker 4 , Tilock 3, Manriquez 3, Graundstadt 2, Alido 2.
West Valley (8-3): Proscher 19, Scholberg 11, Chan 11, Smith 10, Francescut 6, Larkin 3, Salvatierra 2.
3-Pointers—Central Valley 2 (Tilock, Manriquez); West Valley 9 (Proscher 3, Scholberg 3, Chan 3, Larkin 3, Larkin 1).
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