By Brandon Barkley and Peter Day
The Lucerne Valley High School Girls Basketball team is one game away from tying the team record for most wins in a season.
Following Wednesday’s 48-10 win over the Lakeview Leadership Academy Spartans, the Lady Mustangs improved their record to 16-9, just one win shy of the school record for most wins in a season. The Lady Mustangs (a perfect 7-0 in Agape League play) will look to tie the record on Monday, January 31 as they head to Baker to take on the Braves.
The team has found success with its tough, suffocating defense and spreading around its scoring duties. On Wednesday, seniors Andrea Garcia and Elissa Otwell led scoring with 14 and 8 points, respectively. On Friday, January 21, Otwell scored a season high 16 points against the Victor Valley Christian Royals.
Garcia shares point-guard duties Jewell Moy, a quick junior guard who leads the team in four categories: points, rebounds, assists and steals per game. Moy, who averages 7.8 points per game, has an average of an impressive 6.1 steals per game. Six-footer Otwell leads the team in blocked shots.
Other contributors include juniors Kailey Quintero (3.9 rebounds, 5.1 steals per game) and Lori Weaver, sophomores Marisol Torres (1.6 steals per game), Kristy Klaus, Serenity Petroff and Savannah Cerda, and freshman Chloe Evans (5.3 rebounds, 3.7 steals per game), Arelyn Gonzalez, and Jasmine Torres. Head coach of the team is Brandon Barkley, who also serves as the school’s co-athletic director, and the assistant coach is former Mustang standout Ruby Thompson. Following Wednesday’s win, Barkley has 94 career coaching victories.
Just as scrappy as the girls, the Lucerne Valley boys team can’t boast a similar record as their counterpart but show show determination nonetheless. The team is led by senior guards Robert Cook (5’8”) and Levar Timmons (5’9”) with senior Chris Lowe (6’1”) holding down the middle at center. Timmons, has 1.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game. Cook, who averages 4.2 points per game, has 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Lowe averages 4.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game.
Six-foot-2-inch forward/center Aidan Morgan, a junior, averages 9.0 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks, junior guard/forward Avary Baruch (6’0”) averages 3.8 rebounds. Jose Mendoza, a six-foot junior guard averages 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.
Despite being small in stature, two spirited freshmen — Oswaldo Lopez (5’3”) and Jason Picco (5’4”) — have earned regular playing time. Also making an impact is sophomore forward/center Devin Walker (5’10”). Sophomore Randy Resendiz and freshman Isaiah Navarro round out the roster.
On January 21, the Mustangs got their sole win of the season when they beat Victor Valley Christian, 40-32. Cook had 18 points with Timmons picking up 8.
The Lucerne Valley soccer teams have faced tough teams this season and have one win between them. Mustang highlights include goalie work by sophomore Kevin Angeles, senior Armando Castellon, who on January 26 scored two goals against Summit Leadership and an equal number of goals a day earlier against the Academy of Careers & Exploration.
Standouts for the girls include sophomore Kayden Davis and junior Tatiana Raybon, who each scored a goal during their recent game versus ACE. Sophomore Mallorie Bryant would also help out by playing great defense, but a late goal by the Eagles would help clinch the game 3-2 over our Lady Mustangs.
Last week, the Lucerne Valley wrestling team headed up to Big Bear to compete in the final Cross Valley League match of the season. Lukas King would compete against four different weight classes. The first match was an automatic win, but then King showed heart in the next few matches, winning two of the final three pinfall. The final match would be back and forth match, coming down to the wire, but exhaustion set in for the Mustang wrestler and he eventually dropped the match but ended the day going 3 and 1.
Brandon Barkley is head coach of both varsity basketball teams and is the school’s co-athletic director. Peter Day is a social media adviser for the Lucerne Valley Unified School District.