Valley Vista High School (4-1) is eyeing another state championship this season in the 6A Division. Behind the long-time and consistent strong leadership from one of the top girl's high school coaches in the country, Rachel Matakas, Valley Vista will have to overcome some adversity again to win another state title, but the Monsoon is absolutely loaded with talent and focused and prepared for another big season.
Valley Vista girls have become a dynasty in girl's basketball in the state, and are consistently loaded with college-ready talent annually for college programs to feast on. Much of that college-ready preparedness comes from the strong leadership of Coach Matakas, who works tirelessly to develop and prepare each of the girls in her program for college basketball, and, of course, life. Matakas is in her 24th year of coaching, and her tremendous experience has helped her in leading her girls for any obstacles that they face.
Last season Valley Vista won the 6A State Title, and they did it for much of the season without the services of star 5-foot-10 junior guard Jennah Isai (injury). This season, the Monsoon will have to do it again, as the very skilled and versatile Isai will miss the remainder of the high school season again after having surgery on her knee.
"She deserves a spring club season (Jennah Isai)," said Coach Matakas. "Last year she didn't really have one, so this club season will be big for her."
On Monday afternoon, Valley Vista hosted a young but talented Desert Vista team that is on the rise in the state. Led by long-time veteran and very successful Head Coach Dave Williams, who is in his first year at the helm after successfully leading the Desert Vista boy's program in past years. Williams has the Desert Vista girl's program headed in the right direction, and prepared for a big future ahead of them. On Monday, they faced one of the state's very elite programs - a tall task for a young Desert Vista group that has a bright future ahead.
Desert Vista (6-3) would stay in the game with Valley Vista until late in the first half, when Valley Vista would get it going. With 3 minutes left to play in the first half, gifted 6-foot-1 senior forward Marisa Davis (University of Washington signee) would catch the ball in the paint, then find an open teammate with a nice pass, as 5-foot-3 sophomore guard Olivia Arvallo would knock down a three-pointer. A nice run in the final minutes of the first half would give Valley Vista a 27-17 halftime lead.
Valley Vista would regroup in the second half, while their match-up zone defense would create problems for the young Desert Vista group. Valley Vista would utilize a nice, well-balanced attack on the defensive and offensive end to blow the game wide open in the second half - outscoring Desert Vista 34-13 in the second half. Valley Vista would win the game, 61-30.
Valley Vista will now face a talented Millennium HS team (6-2) on Wednesday at home.
Recruiting Notes: Both Valley Vista and Desert Vista High School are loaded with talented college prospects for the future. College coaches take note.
Valley Vista 6-foot junior forward Mikela Cooper (pictured) is a future star and a superb talent with excellent promise for the future. Cooper is a skilled wing prospect that can create for herself off the dribble, and also has the ability to stretch the defense with range. She runs the floor very well and is a good finisher in the lane and in the open floor. She also has a 4.6 CUM GPA is currently ranked #2 in her school's class academically. While she does not currently possess any offers for herself, she is another high-major prospect for the program.
Desert Vista 5-foot-3 freshman guard Eanae Dagons is a tremendous talent with excellent poise and leadership skills at such a young age. A mere freshman, the skilled and tough guard prospect is having a superb freshman season - leading Desert Vista in numerous statistical categories. She is a national-level prospect that will soon garner loads of recruiting interest as she is well beyond her years as a player. Dagons is an exceptional ball handler and passer, and is also an excellent defender. I look forward to watching her continue to grow and develop over time.