'Locked in': Valley's Kozlowski drains seven 3s in rout of Lovington

Mar. 13—It was tense for St. Pius. It was less so for Hope Christian.

And it was practically an exhibition for the Valley Vikings, who were simply outstanding.

Valley rained in 3-pointers all over outmatched Lovington in the Class 4A quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon, and the second-seeded Vikings dominated the seventh-seeded Wildcats 73-33 at the Pit.

Valley crushed Bloomfield 64-23 in the first round last Saturday.

Tyler Kozlowski was a machine from the arc, hitting seven 3s and scoring 23 points (basically in three quarters) for the Vikings (23-6) who'll be up against District 6-4A rival Hope in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Valley and Hope Christian split two games in league play. The Huskies won at home in overtime, and the Vikings later also won at home.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Kozlowski. "I'm excited to see how we're gonna defend them. We've been locked in on the defensive end."

Bloomfield can attest.

And now Lovington can, too.

The Vikings dominated in every statistical category, although the game was close for a quarter-plus.

But Valley outscored Lovington 23-4 in the second quarter — Kozlowki drained four 3s in that quarter alone — and the Vikings just ran away and hid from the Wildcats (18-12).

"I have total confidence in Tyler," Valley coach EZ Panas said. "If he misses one, he's gonna knock down the next one."

Kozlowski connected on consecutive 3s in the middle portion of the second quarter for a 21-7 lead, and also buried one with a second left on the clock for a 34-11 halftime bulge.

"I was really locked in," said Kozlowski. "And I wanted to play hard for my guys."

Valley made 13 shots from distance in the victory. Valley also had 20 offensive rebounds (to three for Lovington), Valley outrebounded Lovington 41-20 total, had just six turnovers and generally stifled everything the Wildcats tried.

Things will become demonstrably tougher on Thursday against Hope.

"We know them in and out," Panas said.

Rosendo Roybal added 13 points for Valley. Julian Chavez, one of the Vikings' best players, had six points and eight rebounds.


LOVINGTON (18-12): Demarcus Thompson 7, Julian Arroyo 6, Elijah Rivero 2, Mike Pando 2, Kayle Covington 6, Jojo Perez 6, Ethan Stephens 2, Payton Hernandez 2. Totals 11-32 11-17 33.

VALLEY (23-6): Tyler Kozlowski 23, Luciano Mondragon 4, Diego Miscles-Rivera 2, Julian Chavez 6, Alec Giron 2, Rosendo Roybal 13, Charles Lopez-Burton 4, Carter Monroe 9, Sayed Hashimi 3, James Sisneros 2, Christopher Melendez 3, Isaiah Abeyta-Jefferson 2. Totals 29-64 2-4 73.

Lovington 7 4 13 9 — 33

Valley 11 23 19 20 — 73

3-point goals: L 0; V 13-34 (Kozlowski 7, Monroe 3, Hashimi, Roybal, Melendez). Rebounds: L 20 (Covington 8); V 41 (Chavez 8). Assists: L 3 (three with 1); V 18 (Mondragon 5). Total fouls: L 12; V 18.