LUCASVILLE – The Valley Lady Indians wanted to get on the right foot just ahead of the New Year.
In their 57-51 non-league win over Clay Saturday afternoon, the Lady Indians snapped a two-game losing skid to improve to 3-6 (1-5 SOC II) while the Lady Panthers fell to 1-10 (1-5 SOC I).
Valley held a lead over Clay at every stop, but the Lady Panthers gave a fourth quarter comeback their best shot, even trimming the Lady Indians’ lead to just one before five-straight Valley points gave them the six-point win.
“Early on, I thought did a good job on (Jaelyn) Warnock,” Valley coach Mark Merritt said following the win. “We missed a few hedges later on, that’s something we tried focusing on in our scouting report. We have some players whose mental focus needs to improve, unforced turnovers is something that has hurt us all year. Give Brooklyn Buckle a lot of credit for guarding and holding Warnock to 10 points. All in all it’s a great victory, but we have to continue improving on doing things right.”
“I thought we came out a little sluggish in the first half,” Clay coach Scott Artis said following the loss. “Once our intensity picked up, it put us in a position to try and get a win. We did a better job of attacking the basket in the second half, as well. Although we fell a little short, we were proud with how they fought back.”
Valley used their ball movement and ability to score points off turnovers to their advantage in the early goings.
Valley senior Karsyn Conaway scored 11 of her team-high 20 points (9-for-15 shooting) in the first half as the Lady Indians held a 26-17 halftime lead over the Lady Panthers.
Senior Bre Call connected on three made-three’s in Saturday’s win as the first-team all-SOC guard finished with 13 points. Call also grabbed 12 rebounds, dished six assists, and had six steals in Saturday’s win.
McKenna Dunham scored nine points, Savannah Easter scored five, Haley Whitt scored four, and Brooklyn Buckle, MacKenzie Wright, and Caitlin Kennard scored two apiece.
Clay out rebounded Valley 36-31 by game’s end as offensive rebounds from long-range shots favored the Lady Panthers’ chances.
“Against the zone, I felt like we were getting the shots we wanted, we just weren’t hitting them,” Merritt said of Valley’s early offense. “I’ve got some shooters who can usually hit those shots, so we had to go inside-out which helped a lot. When they started pressing, we knew what kind of press was coming and we knew what we were supposed to do, but we had some personnel that was in foul trouble. Not an excuse because we like to take the next-man-up approach, but still things we have to work on.”
Clay was led by Shaley Munion who scored a game-high 21 points and four steals in the loss, Jaelyn Warnock scored 10 points, grabbed 17 rebounds, and dished six assists, as well.
Clay is off until the new year when they will host East on Thursday, January 2nd.
“I feel like we are turning the corner,” Artis said. “It’s a pretty new team that’s getting more varsity experience with each game. We knew we would start to see the growth as the season progressed, and I feel like today’s game helped us take another step forward.”
Valley will host Oak Hill on Thursday, January 2nd.
“I think we did a better job rebounding today,” Merritt said. “There were some long shots they were taking and that’s going to result in long rebounds. It’s a start, but I still think we have a lot of room for improvement.”
Clay 9 8 14 20 – 51
Valley 13 13 14 17 – 57
Clay 51 (1-10, 1-5 SOC I)
Jaelyn Warnock 4 0-3 10, Shaley Munion 7 6-10 21, Megan Bazler 1 2-4 4, McKenzie Loper 1 3-4 6, Sophia Gatti 0 2-2 2, Tabby Whitt 0 0-0 0, Kat Cochran 2 0-0 6, Kelsey Fowler 1 0-0 2; TOTALS: 17 13-23 51; Three-point field goals: 6 (Cochran, Warnock 2 apiece, Munion, Loper 1 apiece)
Valley 57 (3-6, 1-5 SOC II)
Brooklyn Buckle 1 0-0 2, Bre Call 3 4-4 13, Caitlin Kennard 1 0-0 2, McKenna Dunham 3 3-5 9, Karsyn Conaway 9 2-5 20, Haley Whitt 1 2-2 4, Savannah Easter 2 1-2 5, Nichole Gilliland 0 0-0 0, Emma Fitch 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 21 12-18 57; Three-point field goals: 3 (Call 3)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved