The Valley women's basketball team is off to its best start in school history, so perhaps it was fitting that two players set personal or team marks in a 119-34 win over Mt. San Jacinto in the Southern California Conference opener for both teams at Valley on Wednesday night.
Bernadette Tillis, a 5-3 sophomore point guard who attended Van Nuys High, had a school-record 23 assists to go with 23 points.
"That's no Mel Tillis stutter," first-year Coach Doug Michelson said, laughing. "That's 23 points and 23 assists."
Ruth Aguilar, a 5-10 freshman forward, grabbed 14 rebounds, a personal and team high this season for Valley (15-2, 1-0 in conference play). Mt. San Jacinto fell to 0-15, 0-1 in conference play.
Aguilar also scored 30 points, which was second only to teammate Dametra Johnson's 38. Johnson, a 5-10 sophomore guard, made 19 of 24 field-goal attempts. Of six Valley players who scored, five were in double figures.
Valley led, 58-10, at the half.
Cal State Northridge 92, Portland State 86--Sophomore center Kathleen Dixon scored 17 of her game-high 24 points in the first half to lead CSUN in a nonconference game at Portland State.
Northridge (6-7) made 18 of 28 field-goal attempts in the first half as the Lady Matadors took a 43-36 lead. CSUN made 15 of 32 shots in the second half to hold off Portland State (2-12).
Marianne Dixon added 17 points and freshman Julie Arlotto scored 16 as four of five CSUN starters reached double figures. Vicki Mallett scored 15 points for CSUN, which faces the University of Portland tonight in a nonconference game.
Valley 95, Victor Valley 65--After trailing, 41-38, at halftime, Valley scored the first 14 points of the second half and never relinquished the lead in the Southern California Conference opener at home.
"We played poorly in the first half," Valley Coach Jim Stephens said. "So we just gave them a good old-fashioned pep talk at halftime."
It seemed to work as the Monarchs played inspired ball in the second half.
"We played our best half of the year in terms of effort and intensity," Stephens said of Valley's second-half effort. "We really played well as a team. The open man always seemed to get the ball."
Freshman Steve Ward, formerly of Calabasas High, led Valley (4-14) with a game-high 27 points and teammates Joe Crawford, David Weiss and Oral Elrington scored 14, 13 and 12 points, respectively.
David Sheehan scored 19 points for Victor Valley (3-9).