Viking defense leads to 13-point win over Monterey Peninsula

Quinn Denker (shown in a 1/19 game at MPC) had 16 points against the Lobos
Quinn Denker (shown in a 1/19 game at MPC) had 16 points against the Lobos

West Valley, the state's #2 scoring team (92.4 PPG), leaned on its formidable defense to secure a hard-fought 65-52 win over visiting Monterey Peninsula Friday. Coach Danny Yoshikawa's Vikings usually light up the scoreboard because of the opportunities created by one of the CCCAA's most talented defenses. West Valley had a cold shooting night Friday, but its defense almost completely shut down the Lobos, especially in the second half.

The Vikings (21-3, 9-0 Coast-South) found themselves on the short end of a 28-26 score as they headed to the locker room at halftime. Adam Afifi drained a deep three on WVC's first second-half posession to give the Vikings a 29-28 lead they would never relinquish. Afifi would score ten of his game-high 16 in the second half, but it was Ben Baker and Quinn Denker who really rolled. They both had 11 second-half points, highlighted by five buckets from Baker and a trio of treys from Denker. The aforementioned defense held the Lobos (15-9, 4-6) to a mere ten baskets in the second stanza, as WVC outscored MPC 39-24.

Afif and Denker both finished with 16 points, and Baker had 15. Ignacio Bettinelli had seven big first-half points.

The win gave West Valley a season sweep of the Lobos (the Vikings won 85-66 at MPC on Jan. 19) heading into the final three games of the regular season. Hartnell (9-14, 3-5) comes to Saratoga Wednesday (2/16) and the Vikings travel to San Jose City Friday (2/18) for an important game against the Jaguars (22-4, 8-2). The Vikings host Cabrillo Friday, Feb. 25 to close out the regular season.