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Holtville High School senior Ryder Merten delivers a pass during the opening Imperial Valley League basketball game against Palo Verde High in Blythe on Thursday, April 29. | VALERIE MENDOZA PHOTO

BASKETBALL: Vikings Take Sting out of ’Jackets

BLYTHE — After slightly more than a week of practice, the Holtville High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams headed to Blythe to face Palo Verde Valley High on Thursday, April 29 in an Imperial Valley League doubleheader.

Indoor sports were thought to be a no-go in this COVID-beleaguered school year, but a late reprieve had schools scrambling last week to get boys’ and girls’ basketball and wrestling started for a quick six-week season that could include CIF-San Diego Section playoffs in June.

On April 29, the Holtville boys’ team scored a 40-30 victory over the Yellowjackets, while the Vikings’ girls’ team came away with a 66-17 win.

Holtville High School junior Dorian Maize skies for a layup during an Imperial Valley League game against Palo Verde Valley High in Blythe on Thursday, April 29. | VALERIE MENDOZA PHOTO

The Holtville boys had a narrow 21-17 halftime lead but used some stout defense to hold off Palo Verde in the second half and get the 10-point victory.

Senior Abraham Ramos led the Vikings with 10 points, followed by junior Dorian Maize with nine and senior Ryder Merten with eight points.

In the nightcap of the doubleheader, the Holtville girls came out ready to play, jumping up 27-4 after the first quarter and 43-5 at halftime. The Vikings got 12 points from sophomore Kamryn Walker in the opening period while junior Orian Anderson had six points in the first eight minutes.

Walker finished the game with a game-high 20 points and also added six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Anderson finished with eight points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Sophomore Julia Moreno made four three-pointers and finished the game with 14 points while sophomore Skylar Hanson finished with nine points and four rebounds. Junior Mariel Estrada was the team’s leading rebounder with eight while senior Ashley Iniguez finished with seven steals and four assists.

The Vikings are back in IVL action on Monday, May 3, with the boys hosting Brawley at 5 p.m. and the girls following with a 7 p.m. tipoff. On Thursday, May 6, Holtville will host Vincent Memorial Catholic of Calexico with the girls’ game tipping off at 5 p.m. and the boys’ start scheduled for 7 p.m.

Holtville High School senior Litzy Velarde goes up for a layup against Palo Verde Valley High in Blythe on Thursday, April 29. | VALERIE MENDOZA PHOTO