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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

High School Notebook

November 30, 2000|JOHN ORTEGA

The winningest season in La Canada history ended Friday in a 28-21 loss to host Santa Maria St. Joseph in a Southern Section Division X quarterfinal game.

Coach Rich Wheeler said it wasn't for lack of effort.

"The kids played hard," Wheeler said. "We couldn't have asked for any more effort from them, but we just didn't get the three or four big plays that we had in most of our games this season. . . . We just didn't have the nudge we needed to win a close game like that."

La Canada (10-2), the No. 3-seeded team in the division, had an efficient, if unspectacular, offense.

But the Spartans missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs after driving inside St. Joseph's 10-yard line on two possessions.

"That didn't happen to us very often this season," Wheeler said. "We almost always got points out of situations like that."

*

Senior Chase McKibben of La Canada, one of several varsity players who were part of a 0-10 freshman team in 1997, gained 1,246 yards in 170 carries this season to move to second on the school's all-time single-season rushing list.

Sam Paneno rushed for a school-record 1,645 yards in 1995.

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