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Coach Willis listed team accomplishments, star performers received awards, and the seniors offered heartfelt farewells as the Lady Spartans capped their 2017-18 season with a banquet Tuesday evening at the Anaheim Hills Golf Course.
Team captains Sydney To and Deja Sambath thanked their coaches and teammates in their goodbye speeches, as did fellow seniors Sophie Kato, Maggie Brown, Bailey Maresh and Bianca Olson.
Coaches and players had a lot to be proud of. Varsity made the CIF playoffs for the second straight year after Villa Park went five years without a postseason appearance. The girls won 14 games, one more than last year, including an overtime win over the more highly ranked Chino Cowgirls in December and a clutch February victory over Yorba Linda that secured the playoff spot. The girls could also be encouraged by their tough performances in losses to solid teams like Sunny Hills and Carlsbad.
JV posted an 18-4 overall record and were a perfect 6-0 in North Hills League games, earning the league championship.
|Kathy Stevens Award||Sydney To||Offensive Player||Nayeli Gonzalez|
|Defensive Player||Sarah Piferi||Defensive Player||Tiffany Le|
|Most Inspirational||Megan Roach||Most Improved||Jordan Somerndike|
|Coach's Award||Deja Sambath||Coach's Award||Amy Gitmed|
|Most Improved||Bailey Maresh|
|Coach's Award||Alex Villasenor|
|Offensive Player||Lindsey To|
|Defensive Player||Rylee Garcia|
|Most Improved||Ariel Rendon|
Despite a 19-point effort by senior caption Sydney To, the Lady Spartans lost 42-27 to the Pioneers of Simi Valley High on Feb. 15 in a first-round CIF playoff game.
The girls trailed by just six points at halftime, 23-17, but were able to score only 10 points in the second half.
Varsity ends the season at 14-14 overall.
Led by senior captain Sydney To's 15 points, Varsity topped the Yorba Linda Mustangs, 45-41, on Feb. 9 at Canyon High to secure a spot in the CIF playoffs next week.
The Lady Spartans trailed 13-9 after one quarter, but caught fire in the second quarter and took a 28-20 lead into halftime, thanks to a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Bianca Olson. The girls saw the Mustangs close to within two points at 43-41 in the fourth quarter but held on for the victory.
After Sydney, our top scorers were Freda Tafuna with seven points and Deja Sambath with six.
The girls are now 14-13 overall. Their playoff game will be Wednesday; game time and opponent will be announced Sunday.
The Orange County Register on Monday, Jan. 8, named freshman Sophia Santangelo the O.C. girls basketball player of the week after her record-setting nine three-point shots in the Jan. 5 victory over Mission Viejo.
Reporter Dan Albano's article is here.
Albano's earlier story, which ran under the headline, "Villa Park freshman Santangelo makes school-record nine 3-pointers," is here.
"Success starts with friendship, cooperation and enthusiasm. Self-control, the right intentions and the drive to do what is right promote success in a team concept. Having confidence in what you do and maintaining faith and patience are the last steps to becoming a great team. Follow these steps and you will become the best person, capable of success in your life."
- Coach Willis
Inspired by Coach John Wooden's Pyramid of Success
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