MINFORD — The Minford lady Falcons defeated the West Senators by a score of 57-31 Monday night. The Falcons came out running their offense, limiting turnovers, and forcing droves on the defensive side of the ball.
Erin Daniels took control early, scoring the first eight points of the game. West managed to rebound, stopping the Falcons with a zone look on defense. However, Minford hit three buckets behind the arc to end the quarter to push their lead to 20-7 at the end of one.
The Falcons opened up the game in the third. They went on a 17-2 run as Abby Grasso got heavily involved in the offense. Minford fans held their breaths, though, as Daniels went down in the third with an arm injury. While it looked potentially serious, Falcon fans can rest easy knowing Daniels is alright and will appear in the next game against Vinton County on Wednesday. After Daniels left the game the Senators managed to piece together their own 7-0 run. The quarter ended with a 48-26 lead for Minford.
In the fourth, both teams cleared the benches and had some reserves play big minutes. Ashley Puckett scored nine off the bench for Minford in the win. Grasso led with 17 and Daniels contributed 15 before leaving the game. For West, Madison Williams led with nine.
“We didn’t execute enough possessions,” admitted West head coach Doug Williams. “We are fighting a real battle amongst ourselves right now to just compete for a whole game. We’ve been a team this year that can play well in a quarter but we tend to forget that the game is four quarters long. We are trying to get a group of girls that aren’t used to winning back to winning ways.
“For Wednesday, after tonight, we are just working on making ourselves better. That’s our bottom line. We need to start doing what we do well. We are going to come out and pressure, and try to play hard but we have to try to do better.”
West hosts St. Josephs on Wednesday. Game time is at 7:30 p.m.
Minford hosts Vinton County Wednesday. Game time for that game is also at 7:30 p.m.
“One thing we wanted to focus on today was becoming a more disciplined team,” said Minford Head Coach Scott Caudill. “We looked at a lot of game footage and realized we kind of lose track of what we are doing at times. Until the tournament our goal is to get more disciplined, take better shots, and move more without the basketball. In saying that, tonight I couldn’t be more proud. We shot the ball well, we defended well, we boxed out better and all of our girls just had a great effort. Emma Shepard took great care of the basketball tonight. She did the best job she ever has done setting our offense tonight.
“West is greatly improved. They are a good basketball team, they are well coached but tonight we managed to get better at the things we’ve been working on. And when Abby Grasso is confident, teams better watch out. When she’s in the right mindset, she’s good. She’s way better than she realizes. Marissa Risner hit a couple threes tonight for us, too. We have a lot of weapons, and when these girls are confident they can really hit shots.”
Coach Caudill took a moment to talk a bit about his star player, sophomore Erin Daniels.
“Lots of people don’t know this, but Erin missed the first few weeks of the preseason. She didn’t get started until November. She had been out five months with zero activity besides therapy. She’s really just coming into her prime and getting her legs under her now. She’s a gamer.
“It’s really nice when you have a team that always has your back,” said Erin Daniels. “They are always so positive. We are all like sisters here.”
“Right now we are 12-6,” said Caudill. “We have Vinton County on Wednesday and if we can get this one it will be key for us. They are a very tough team, so this game is huge for us.”
West 7 10 9 5 — 31
Minford 20 9 19 9 — 57
Minford: Grasso 17, Daniels 15, Puckett 9, Risner 6, Blankenship 6, Shepard 2, Pica 2
West: Williams 9, Butcher 6, White 6, Richards 3, Newton 3, Compton 2, Fields 2