LUCASVILLE — The Valley Lady Indians came out of Monday night’s nonconference game with a huge 51-48 victory of the Sardinia Eastern Lady Warriors. The Indians had three players in double figures: Kamryn Conaway, Megan Duduit and Hannah Conley.
Conaway was the vocal leader on the floor all night. She guided other players, called out screens, rebounded and defended the post with tenacity. Conaway and the Indians had to fight through the constant screens of Eastern that were meant to find an open shooter on the perimeter. After the first quarter, the score was 14-10 in favor of the Warriors.
Megan Duduit was the leading scorer in the game with 16. She hit three early buckets from behind the arc and would go on to ice the game with her free throw shooting, going 9-of-10 from the line. At the half the score was 27-25 as with the Warriors leading.
Throughout the game, the Indians managed to find the post. Hannah Conley had 15 on the night, and hit a put back at the buzzer that gave Valley a 2-point lead going into the fourth quarter, 38-36. Conaway was in foul trouble for a good portion of the second half and Conley played well in her absence.
The Indians found themselves up 48-40 with just 1:30 remaining in the game. The Warriors managed to get a 3-point play and a 3-point basket to cut the lead to just two inside of 20 seconds remaining. Megan Duduit would go to the line and hit another free throw, increasing the lead to three with just fifteen seconds left. The warriors were forced to look for a 3-point basket in order to tie the game and send it to overtime.
They missed, though, and the Indians celebrated a hard fought victory. Head Coach Mark Merritt was proud of his girls’ performance.
“It’s a big win for us going into tournament time,” said Merritt. “The past four games we’ve played pretty well besides the game against Minford. I think we are making improvements. We held our turnovers down a bit tonight but that has been our Achilles heel all year.
“Hannah Conley was in always in the right place tonight. We’ve worked on that all year. Kam was finding her in the post, and we actually missed her a few times tonight. She worked hard on the glass and it was just a really good all-around game from my young freshman tonight. Megan’s free throws were huge tonight. Kam did a huge job for us tonight on the glass and influenced a lot of shots out there despite having to sit a few minutes in the fourth with fouls. We had a lot of communication from my seniors tonight which helped a lot.”
“This group has been with me for four years. They are a dedicated group, nice kids, and they play their hearts out for me. They are going to be missed and thank God we have at least two games left with them. We play Northwest Thursday and we have Fairland in the tournament. We are still taking it a game at a time and enjoying all the time we have left.”
Valley hosts the Northwest Mohawks on Thursday.
Valley 10 15 13 13 — 51
Eastern 14 13 9 12 — 48
Valley: Duduit 16, Conaway 15, Conley 15, Wright 4, Howard 1
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