HOLTVILLE — Playing at home on Tuesday, the Holtville Vikings notched a quality cross-league win over the Calexico Bulldogs, besting them 51-42 thanks to a stalwart defensive effort in the second half.

In a meeting between two rock-solid teams, the Bulldogs struck first, coming out and decking the Vikings for 20 first-quarter points. Holtville was able to arrest their momentum somewhat in the second quarter, but Calexico was still able to enter the half with a small 30-25 lead.

Starting in the third quarter, the Vikings attempted to turn the Bulldogs’ scoring tap all the way off and did a pretty good job of it, locking them down and allowing a paltry 12 second-half points.

Offensively Holtville was Steady Eddie. They had 14 points in the first quarter, 11 in the second, 13 in the third and another 13 in the fourth. They had three scorers finish in double figures, with sweet-shooting frosh guard Kamryn Walker leading the 16 on seven field goals (including two threes). Sophomore Orian Anderson came next, contributing 12 points and stuffing the stat sheet with six boards, five assists, three steals and three blocks. Then there was senior Amanda Angulo who had 10 points, five rebounds, four assists and six steals.

Steals, as always, played a big part in Holtville’s eventual success. As a team the Vikings tallied outright swipes and forced 22 total turnovers. They weren’t immune to the bug themselves, however, coughing it up 20 times themselves — though their giveaways tended to be the result of unforced errors.

When things got into the half court, center Carolina Valdes was the Vikings’ anchor. She finished with 10 rebounds and five blocks. It was her 14th multi-block outing in 16 games. She’s averaging 3.9 swats per contest.

Like Holtville, Calexico had a balanced offensive attack with three double-digit scorers in Lyah Macias (13 points), Viviana Cuadras (11) and Celia Costa (11), but their turnovers and rebounding disadvantage ultimately gave the Vikings too many extra possessions for the Bulldogs to weather.

The win gives the Vikings an overall record of 11-5. They play San Luis High in Arizona tonight before getting into Desert League play with a Friday trip to Blythe to play the Palo Verde Yellowjackets.

Calexico (now 9-7) will have its Imperial Valley League opener at home on Friday vs. Central at 7 p.m.


Brawley boys narrowly avoid home loss vs. Hornets

BRAWLEY — By all accounts the Brawley High School boys’ basketball team has been on a tremendous kick to open the 2019-20 season. With nonleague play just about in the books, the Wildcats have a record of 14-5 — that’s three more wins than they had in all of last schoolyear — and have looked good compiling it.

But as good as they’ve been, it doesn’t mean they won’t face too-real challenges in the weeks to come, as the Calipatria Hornets proved on Tuesday, taking it to Brawley in the Wildcats’ own gym and giving them all they wanted before falling just short of the upset, 71-67.

The game was a matchup of two perimeter-oriented, senior-laden squads each with plenty of moves and countermoves.

Ultimately the Wildcats prevailed thanks to their usual steady diet of passing and ball-pressure, finishing the night with 17 team steals and with five players scraping double-digit scoring.

Charles Smith led the team with 17 points, six steals and three assists. Following him were Oscar Gonzalez (14 points, six steals, five rebounds), Rayvon Johnson (14 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks), JJ Fernandez (11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, six steals) and Jesse Gutierrez (10 points, seven rebounds).

The Wildcats will be heading into Friday’s IVL opener against Southwest riding a four-game winning streak.

Calipatria (9-8) plays Imperial at Imperial. Both games tip at 7 p.m.

Other results:

Jan. 14

Brawley girls (8-11) def. Calipatria (4-12), 36-14

Calexico boys (15-2) def. Holtville (8-4), 79-36

Central boys (10-9) def. Palo Verde (5-9), 61-60

Central girls (2-16) def. Palo Verde (2-12), 59-51



Tiger girls tie Central for first non-loss vs. Spartans in IVL era

IMPERIAL — Since joining the Imperial Valley Soccer League circa 2008, the Imperial High School girls’ soccer team has ended every game vs. the vaunted Central Union Spartans — winners of seven of the past eight IVL titles — in the exact same way: With a loss.

Over that span the Tigers accumulated a record of 0-22 against the Spartans, but now an addendum needs to be made. With Tuesday’s 0-0 tie at Shimamoto-Simpson Stadium, the record is now 0-22-1.

A 0-0 draw usually qualifies as a letdown, but in this case, it’s a definite moral victory for the Tigers, given the weight of the history against them. What’s more it keeps them in position for a potential run at the IVL title. Currently they have a 2-0-2 league record with necessary wins over Holtville and Calexico and two draws vs. the El Centro schools. (They’ve actually beaten the Vikings and Bulldogs two times apiece — and the Eagles once — counting tournament play, but that doesn’t factor into league standings).

Only the Spartans sit above them at 3-0-1, and they haven’t seemed too imperious thus far, though they’re still the obvious favorite.

Imperial’s next test will come Friday in Brawley vs. the Wildcats. It’s a potential trap game for the Tigers. The Wildcats have had a steel-wool-rough season to date, with just three wins against 14 losses, but they’re coming off an 11-0 blowout of Palo Verde, which could be confidence-boosting.

Central, meanwhile, will look to get back on track with a visit to Holtville. Both varsity contests are scheduled for 6 p.m.

Other results:

Jan. 14

Brawley boys (8-2-4, 3-0-1 IVL) def. Palo Verde (3-12, 0-4 IVL), 4-1

Brawley girls (3-14-1, 1-2-1 IVL) def. Palo Verde (4-9, 0-4 IVL), 11-0

Calexico boys (8-6-3, 4-0-1 IVL) def. Holtville (5-5-4, 2-3 IVL), 7-0

Calexico girls (6-6-3, 3-2 IVL) def. Holtville (6-7-1, 1-3-1 IVL), 2-0

Central boys (7-7-2, 3-1 IVL) def. Imperial (6-9, 0-4 IVL), 3-1

Mt. Empire girls (10-3) def. Southwest (6-5-2, 2-1-1 IVL), 4-0


Sports Editor Aaron Bodus can be reached at abodus@ivpressonline.com or 760-337-3434.

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