The win sent Valencia (15-11) into a first-round matchup against No. 10 seed Chaparral of Temecula. The Mustangs finished the season 14-13. “It’s very disappointing because we thought we were reaching a peak,” Saulny said. “We don’t really have a consistency to our team and we tend to let teams into the game,” Saulny said. The Vikings, trailing 18-13 early in the second quarter, outscored the Mustangs 17-5, capped by a 9-0 run, to take a 30-23 halftime advantage. “We came out hard, but Valencia took over the momentum and kept it the whole second half,” said Jackson, who collected 11 points. Muir, trailing by as many as 11 points, cut Valencia’s lead to 53-50 on a short jumper by Chris Johnson with 4:13 to play in the game. The Mustangs didn’t score again as the Vikings closed out the game with 14 consecutive points. “You could feel it coming because they hadn’t had a run since the beginning of the game,” Valencia sophomore guard John Otavka said. “We just stayed poised and buckled down on defense.” Austin Judson led the Mustangs with 12 points. Otavka paced Valencia with 21 points. Ralph Anumba scored 16 and Shane Vereen added 11. “They played as a team and we were playing like individuals,” Saulny said. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 4456 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! • Photo Gallery: Valencia vs. MuirPASADENA – With a team that has a tendency of falling behind early, Muir High School’s first-year boys basketball coach Eric Saulny knew the importance of a strong start Wednesday against visiting Valencia. The Mustangs gave their coach the quick start he was hoping for, but couldn’t sustain the momentum in a 67-50 loss to the visiting Vikings in a CIF-Southern Section Division II-AA wild-card game. Poor shooting and some costly turnovers down the stretch sent the Mustangs home. “To work so hard and come this far, it’s very heartbreaking to lose like this,” Muir senior guard Wendell Jackson said. Things appeared to be headed in the right direction as the Mustangs jumped to a 15-6 lead late in the first quarter by attacking the basket. Muir, however, got away from penetrating the lane and started to rely on outside shooting, a reliance that proved costly. Valencia, which defeated Muir 60-58 in the ninth-place game at the Chaminade Christmas Tournament on Dec. 30, withstood Muir’s initial onslaught and cut the Mustangs’ lead to 15-11 after one quarter.
A Whittier Police Department officer, who had been flagged down by witnesses, saw the pickup truck leave the parking lot of a restaurant in the 9800 block of Santa Fe Springs Road. He said he later heard the crash. Police said the pickup was traveling 90 mph and ran red lights. Brooker told officers he had three beers that night, but he denied taking drugs, CHP Officer Destiny Tafoya testified at a May 2 hearing. Officers said they found a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine and a small bag of what appeared to be marijuana in the truck. Prosecutors said Brooker tested positive for marijuana and methamphetamine. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The charges stem from a Nov. 25 crash at Bloomfield and Florence avenues in Santa Fe Springs that killed Rosanna Garcia. Prosecutors allege Brooker was driving a pickup truck that slammed into the driver’s side of Garcia’s Honda Accord. The 20-year-old Garcia, a California High School graduate, died of her injuries. Garcia’s friends and her mother, Eva, attended the arraignment Wednesday. Eva Garcia declined comment. Brooker’s father, William Brooker, said he felt much sympathy for Garcia’s family. “I know he didn’t mean to do it, because he’s never hurt anybody. The way I see it, it was an accident. I’m very sorry for the other side,” he said. “I know how the other side feels, because we lost our youngest son four years ago. He was caught in a drive-by in L.A.” William Daniel Brooker, who is a parolee, allegedly told California Highway Patrol officers that he fled from police because they were chasing him and he had to get away. NORWALK – An El Monte man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing a South Whittier woman last year when his pickup truck allegedly crashed into her car as he fled from police. William Daniel Brooker, 27, also denied the other charges against him, which include driving under the influence causing injury, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving with great bodily injury, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He will be back at Norwalk Superior Court on June 13 for a pre-trial hearing. Deputy District Attorney Shelley Dominguez said the case has been re-assigned to the alternate public defender’s office.