WEST PORTSMOUTH — Valley junior guard Bre Call isn’t selfish or shy.
But when the Indians need a bucket in the worst kind of way, she is the player her teammates look for to provide one.
Trailing 28-26 with 6:28 left in the fourth quarter Thursday evening at West — and with the Senators on a 13-3 run — Call dialed long distance at the best possible time to put Valley back on top at 29-28.
Minutes later, after teammate Brooklyn Buckle got a putback to go, Call put an exclamation point on her run-ending 3 by finding fellow junior Karsyn Conaway for another trey, extending Valley’s lead to 34-28 and putting a stamp on the Indians’ sixth win this season, an eventual 35-32 final.
“Usually, there’s a lot of pressure on me,” Call said after the win. “But if we’re not hitting shots, I usually try to drive to the basket. We wanted to run up the floor a lot but that wasn’t working for us. Karsyn and I making those shots really helped us tonight. We need to be faster on the floor but we got the win tonight.”
Indians coach Mark Merritt echoed Call’s thoughts and reiterated the necessity to get the ball into her and Conaway’s hands with the game on the line.
“Bre Call has been a starter since she was a freshman. When we needed baskets, she stepped up and hit them,” Merritt said. “Karsyn Conaway has done the same thing for us this year. We have to get the other kids to realize when they’re not hitting, the ball has to be in Bre or Karsyn’s hands. At the end tonight, we did that.”
The Indians (6-4, 4-3 SOC II) took 52 shots in the win, compared to West’s 39. The central reason for that differential was Kaity Howard’s efforts to clean the offensive glass.
The 5-foot-6 senior tallied 11 rebounds on the night, with a handful providing second chances for Call and company.
“Katie is my senior. She did a good job on the glass. She always gives us one-hundred percent and whatever she’s asked to do, she does. She started off as a point guard and moved to the five. You won’t find anybody work harder than Katie.”
Tale of the tape
Call started the night’s scoring by hitting one of two free throw attempts with 7:35 left in the first. From that point on, the two teams continued to trade blows.
After the first eight minutes, the Indians had a 10-7 lead, an advantage that grew ever so slightly, at 17-13, heading into halftime after a nip and tuck second quarter.
Valley opened the second half on a 6-2 run, taking a 23-15 lead. But that’s when the Senators mounted an 11-0 run behind senior Jordyn Swords, who hit consecutive 3’s to tie the game at 23 before teammate Emily Sissel hit another to give West its first lead since early in the first.
But that’s when Call had seen enough. After hitting two free throws, cutting the lead to one, her and Conaway hit the back-to-back triples to swing the pendulums of momentum.
Call led the Indians with a game-high 17 points alongside three assists. Conaway added seven points and four rebounds, and Bailee Day chipped in with four points and five boards.
Morgan Rigsby led West (3-7, 1-7 SOC II) with 12 points and 15 rebounds while Swords finished with 10 points. Abbi Pack added six points and four rebounds, Abby Adkins had six boards and three assists.
What’s on tap
Valley will attempt to get its seventh win on Dec. 27 while traveling to Clay. The Senators will try and bounce back Saturday, hosting Zane Trace.
“I don’t think we’ve reached our potential yet. We’re still making mistakes we shouldn’t be making. Mental mistakes,” Merritt said. “We have to get those squared away because in the SOC, you go out there and have a bad game like we did tonight, you’re going to be in trouble.”
GIRLS BASKETBALL FINAL: Valley 35, West 32.@brecall10 (V): 17 points, 3 assists@karsynconaway11 (V): 7 points, 4 rebounds@jordynxswords__ (W): 10 points@RigsbyMorgan (W): 12 points, 15 rebounds#PDTsports pic.twitter.com/StPddZarAX
— Derrick Webb (@dw1509) December 21, 2018
Valley: 10-7-6-12 — 35
West: 7-6-10-9 — 32
Valley: 11-52 FG, 10-18 FT, 3-19 3pt. (Call 2), 30 rebounds (Howard 11), 13 turnovers, 5 assists (Call 3). Scoring: Call 17, Conaway 7, Day 4, Buckle 3, Gilliland 3, Howard 1.
West: 7-39 FG, 15-22 FT, 3-18 3pt. (Swords 2), 29 rebounds (Rigsby 15), 20 turnovers, 4 assists (Adkins 3). Scoring: Rigsby 12, Swords 11, Pack 6, Sissel 3.
Reach Derrick Webb at (740) 353-3101, ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @dw1509.