Valley junior Bre Call knew that coming into the fourth quarter with her team holding a five point lead on the road, she would need to lead her team offensively to ensure their victory.
“I felt like we were pumped up and in the game, and that really got us going in the fourth. We just stayed with it and knew what we had to do.”
Call’s game high 17 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter when her team needed her most, was really the straw that broke the Lady Jeeps’ proverbial back in their 52-49 road SOC II win Monday night in South Webster.
“Our girls really played hard and wanted this one,” said Valley head coach Mark Merritt. “Winning a road game in the SOC is not easy to do, especially with some girls out like we had tonight. But our bench players really stepped up, and to be able to put it all together is really promising for us.”
Senior starter Bailee Day was in constant foul trouble for the Lady Indians and was unable to get any points on the board in her short time on the floor. Another starter for Valley, center Hannah Conley, went down with an appearant injury at the start of the second half which in theory would hamper the Lady Indians chances.
But as Merritt touched on, his bench stepped up when they were called upon, and helped lead their team to a big road victory.
“We have a six man in Karsyn Conaway,” said Call, “She always steps up for us, and is always there to help hustle and take anyone’s spot who she might need to.”
In her sixth man role, Conaway helped contribute the second highest total for the Lady Indians on the night with 12 points which included two massive three’s, while also going 4/7 from the foul line.
Nichole Gilliland also played a significant role in the Lady Indians road victory as she had to replace the injured Conley when she went down at the beginning of the second half and was charged with the task of guarding one of the best player’s in the SOC, South Webster’s Maddie Cook.
South Webster head coach Ryan Dutiel wasn’t exactly satisfied with his team’s play on Monday night, but says ultimately that responsibility to get his team prepared falls back on him.
“The press they showed us wasn’t one we haven’t seen before or even practiced before,” said Dutiel. “The girls were just not mentally prepared tonight, and that’s my fault. We’ve got to do more to prepare. Being off yesterday (Sunday) and having the game Saturday, there’s really no preparation time. It’s really hard to do those Monday games after a Sunday off, and so we’ll have to come back tomorrow and get ready to play West on Thursday.”
The leading scorers for the Lady Jeeps included freshman Bri Claxon who added a team high 15 points in the loss, junior Baylee Cox added 14 points, and Cook added 13 to her team’s total.
The Lady Indians will travel to Waverly on Thursday to play the 2-0 Lady Tigers in hopes of stealing another road SOC win.
“Hopefully we can take this game as a positive,” said Call. “Keep working to get better and keep on winning.”
As Dutiel noted, the Lady Jeeps will travel to face the Portsmouth West Lady Senators in hopes of grabbing their first SOC win of the season on Thursday.
“We have to be more mentally prepared,” said Dutiel. “There are no games where you can’t bring your best effort in the SOC. It’s a tough league, everybody is very competitive and well coached. We’re going to have to put this one behind us, start preparing for West, and hope to have a different outcome.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT