Valley makes Green see red


Valley senior Lexie Morrow (3) dribbles ahead of the defense of Green’s Matti Hayslip (34) during Wednesday night’s non-league girls basketball game at Valley High School.

Courtesy of Guy Queen

LUCASVILLE — Some smothering defense all throughout, and some bullseye second-stanza sharpshooting, spearheaded the Valley Lady Indians on Wednesday night.

In other words, Valley had Green seeing quite a bit of red.

That’s because the host Lady Indians only allowed the visiting Green Lady Bobcats double-digit scoring in the second quarter, as Valley outscored guest Green 54-16 over the final three periods —en route to a 60-21 rout in a non-league girls basketball bout on The Reservation.

Both teams are now 1-1 following Wednesday’s result —and after the young Lady Bobcats beat Eastern 58-49 on Monday, while the Lady Indians fell to strong South Gallia 60-37.

With the Southern Ohio Conference split into three divisions starting this basketball season, all three games are considered non-league, but the Division IV Lady Indians could see the Lady Bobcats again in the postseason tournament.

Valley certainly had to like what it saw on Wednesday —definitely defensively.

Valley fourth-year head coach Tyson Phillips did agree anyway —over the final three quarters.

“Our team is getting up and down the court really well, even when our shots are not falling yet. We’re still focusing in on defense, though. A lot of the girls are first-year varsity players, and a lot of it is just locking in mentally on what we’re trying to do to our opponent. That second half, we just did a tremendous job defensively,” said Phillips. “We had somebody there with on-ball pressure, somebody with help defense, then somebody helping the helper. The whole second half, especially defensively, the girls were locked in to what we were doing. It was good to see the girls follow the gameplan and execute it.”

Meanwhile, it was tough sledding for the Lady Bobcats —which were at least in the mid-to-high 20s in turnovers.

“The turnovers situation was a repeat from Monday night. We won that game against Eastern, but we had 31 turnovers. Tonight we got down on ourselves, and this group of freshmen, that’s the first time they’ve played from behind. It’s something new, and it’s something we have to work on,” said Green coach Melissa Knapp. “Not getting down on ourselves and taking care of the basketball. They (Valley) executed their gameplan to a ‘T’. And we did not respond to that.”

The Lady Indians scored the first six points, and after the Lady Bobcats answered with the next five to close the defensive-slugfest first quarter, it was almost all Purple and Gold from there.

The Lady Indians never trailed, and utilized trapping half-court pressure into forcing several Green turnovers, as Valley splashed six second-stanza three-point goals —en route to a 31-16 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, the Lady Bobcats’ only points were two Abbie Knapp free throws at the 5:27 mark —as the lead soon swelled to 30 at 48-18 at the end of the third frame.

The final five minutes and 18 seconds were played under the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s running-clock rule, which takes effect at a 35-point advantage in the second half.

Halfway through the fourth period, Matti Hayslip scored a basket for the Lady Bobcats — but their only other points were a Knapp split of free throws.

Lexie Morrow, the Valley standout senior and all-Southeast District Division IV honoree, amounted 11 of her game-high 18 points in the third period, as Valley scored the first 10 points —and the final seven —of the quarter.

On paper, Morrow’s one-on-one performance against the Green freshman standout and six-foot tall Knapp was much-anticipated —as Knapp erupted for 42 points in her debut against Eastern.

Green freshman Abbie Knapp (50) goes up for a basket over Valley defender Katelyn Queen (10) during Wednesday night’s non-league girls basketball game at Valley High School.

Courtesy of Guy Queen

She scored 13 on Wednesday on four field goals and 4-of-6 foul shots, but really had to work for her points —given Valley was throwing double, and even triple, teams against her at times.

All four of her baskets came in the first 16 minutes.

But her mother, Coach Knapp, knows her Lady Bobcats must be more than a one-gal show.

“We’ve got to find more offense. We rely too much on Abbie,” said Knapp. “Let’s find more ballhandlers. Let’s find more kids who aren’t afraid to step up and take shots. Offensively, we have to have other kids step up. It’s going to be more of the same if we don’t.”

Hayslip made a three-pointer to get Green on the board, then Knapp netted a three to make it 11-8 Valley — only two minutes and seven seconds into the second quarter.

Knapp then notched an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 13-11, but Valley senior Karsyn Davis dialed long distance —for a pair of back-to-back triples to make it a double-digit lead at 21-11.

Davis, with one three from the wing and another at the top of the key a mere 30 seconds apart, followed fellow senior Kelsey Lebrun’s putback that made it 15-11.

Mya Wolfe with a trifecta made it 24-14, then Emilie Barr bagged her second trey to make it 27-16.

Davis then nailed the most dramatic basket of the game —from following a missed Lady Indian free throw, she caught the ball on the wing and squared up at the arc.

Valley senior Karsyn Davis (4) dialed up for three second-quarter three-point goals in the Lady Indians’ 60-21 non-league girls basketball win over visiting Green.

Courtesy of Guy Queen

Instead of a swish, Davis banked the three-pointer in at the buzzer—good enough for the Lady Indians’ largest lead of the first half.

“I didn’t know the banks here in Lucasville stayed open so late,” joked Phillips, of Davis’ shot.

But seriously, Davis draining those three threes did jumpstart the Lady Indians’ offense.

“Karsyn is our secret assassin. This goes back for the past couple of years. She steps up and hits some big shots here and there over the course of her career,” said Phillips. “She is not a high volume shooter, but usually her percentage is pretty good from beyond the arc. We have shooting competitions in practice, and you would be surprised how many Karsyn wins or comes out on top. It doesn’t surprise me, though. And she isn’t afraid to shoot it, so that’s great to see also.”

Valley senior Kelsey Lebrun (2) shoots over Abbie Knapp (50) of Green (50) during Wednesday night’s non-league girls basketball game at Valley High School.

Courtesy of Guy Queen

Lebrun added eight points on four field goals, as Barr and Ella Thompson tallied six points apiece —Barr with two threes and Thompson three twos, including four first-quarter points.

Valley also ran in and out a dozen players —as part of its regular rotation.

The Lady Bobcats, conversely, had no answers for anything.

“We were letting people go sideline and baseline on us, they got wide-open looks, they outrebounded us, and we didn’t follow any of our defensive principles. So it wasn’t just our turnovers situation,” said Coach Knapp. “We had a lot of issues tonight, so there’s a laundry list of things to fix.”

Green, which lost to South Gallia 65-46 on Thursday night in another non-league affair, plays host to Meigs Eastern on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The Lady Indians, meanwhile, return to action on Monday night —at Symmes Valley of the now SOC II, of which South Gallia is also a member of.

This time, Valley’s Purple plays a team of Red —after making Green see that color on Wednesday.

“We’ve got a good group of girls here. We’re going to have some growing pains because we do have several freshman and sophomores which are new to the varsity level, but we showed what we’re capable of doing for four quarters. I don’t care which player I call upon, one through 12, if they go in there and do what they did in practice, they are going to help our team,” said Phillips. “It was great to see everybody get in and everybody contribute tonight and just lock in on a gameplan. If we can continue to work, and stay out of our own way, I think we have a bright future.”

* * *

Green 5 11 2 3 —21

Valley 6 25 17 12 —60

GREEN 21 (1-1)

Abbie Knapp 4 4-6 13, Matti Hayslip 2 2-2 7, Ava Abrams 0 0-0 0, Mylee Hunt 0 0-2 0, Mylee Brown 0 1-2 1, Addison Blizzard 0 0-0 0, Sydney Bainer 0 0-0 0, Addy Christian 0 0-0 0, Natalie Butler 0 0-0 0, Izzy Conley 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 6 7-12 21; Three-point goals: 2 (Abbie Knapp and Matti Hayslip 1 apiece)

VALLEY 60 (1-1)

Mya Wolfe 1 0-0 3, Austin Frantz 1 0-0 2, Kelsey Lebrun 4 0-0 8, Lexie Morrow 8 1-3 18, Karsyn Davis 3 0-0 9, Katelyn Queen 0 0-0 0, Emily Roberts 1 0-0 2, Emilie Barr 2 0-0 6, Carly Metzler 2 0-0 4, Ella Thompson 3 0-0 6, Kendyl Christman 1 0-0 2; TOTALS 26 1-3 60; Three-point goals: 7 (Karysn Davis 3, Emile Barr 2, Mya Wolfe and Lexie Morrow 1 apiece)

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on X @paulboggssports © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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