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Meadows Up to the Challenge

Girls' basketball: Valencia coach asks senior for big night and she scores 29 in 65-59 defeat of Hart to help Vikings move into first-place tie in Foothill League.


NEWHALL — Maybe Jerry Mike should ask for more next time.

The Valencia High girls' basketball coach challenged forward Marissa Meadows to score 20 points in a pivotal Foothill League game Friday night at Hart.

She had 21 by halftime.

By the time it was over, the 6-foot senior had a career-high 29 points and eight rebounds, and the Vikings had a 65-59 victory.

Valencia (19-5, 6-2 in league play), defending league champion, set a school record for victories and tied Saugus (19-4, 6-2) for first place. Saugus lost, 59-53, at Burroughs on Friday night.

"That win right there gave them either the Foothill League championship or co-championship, in my opinion," Hart Coach Dave Munroe said of Valencia, which defeated the Indians for the fourth consecutive time.

Valencia, ranked No. 7 in the region by The Times, hosts No. 6 Saugus on Thursday in a league finale.

No. 10 Hart (16-6, 5-3) can climb back in the race with a victory over Saugus on Tuesday.

Meadows, who scored 20 points in a 55-53 victory over Hart on Jan. 12, made 11 of 13 shots and seven of eight free throws on Friday.

"I wasn't really concentrating on getting [20 points]," she said. "I just played hard."

She had a lot of help.

"The guards did a great job of getting the ball into her and she did a great job of finishing," Mike said. "Marissa played huge."

It didn't help Hart that forwards Briana Brigandi and Brandi Kimble were in foul trouble.

Brigandi scored 17 points before fouling out and Kimble, a freshman, scored 18 points, all in the second half. Guard Sarah McIntosh had 13 points.

Sophomore guard Amanda Patton, the Indians' top scorer, was flanked by Holly Feneht of Valencia and scored only three points.

Feneht scored 10, point guard Valerie Pina had eight points and six assists, and Stephanie Patterson finished with six points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Hart led, 21-20, midway through the second quarter before the Vikings went on a 17-3 run to claim a 37-24 lead.

The Indians closed the margin to 58-55 on Kimble's steal and layup with four minutes left in the game.

But Patterson answered with a 12-foot jumper and Rashae Minor made two free throws for a 62-55 cushion.

Valencia made 19 of 28 free throws.

Hart made 19 of 37 attempts from the line.

Viking post players outrebounded Hart's, 17-7, and Valencia's bench outscored the Indians', 8-3.

But the difference was Meadows.

"She's certainly got my vote for league [most valuable player]," Munroe said.

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