LUCASVILLE — As the Christmas break inches closer, area teams are knocking off some of their early-season goals.
The Valley Lady Indians achieved one of their aspirations, potentially one of several times this season, following a one-point win over visiting Raceland (Ky.) Monday — and Thursday’s 18-point (53-35) win over Eastern in Southern Ohio Conference Division II play.
The pair of wins ensured the Lady Indians a perfect 2-0 stretch this week, something that second-year head coach Tyson Phillips said they’d been pushing toward.
“To get two wins this week, that’s the first time that’s happened since I’ve started coaching here,” Phillips said. “It’s a positive, when you have two games in a week we want to at-least go .500 each week. The girls have been working hard and it’s great to see them have success.”
Thursday’s 53-35 win over Eastern improved Valley’s record (3-3, 2-2 SOC II) back to .50, heading into a four-game stretch next week.
After trailing the Lady Eagles 15-11 in the early second quarter, the Lady Indians closed the first half on a 13-2 run to take a 24-17 lead into halftime.
Valley’s defense didn’t allow any Eastern points for the first six minutes of the second half, ultimately winning the third period 16-6 for a 40-23 lead after three.
The Lady Indians held Eastern senior Abby Cochenour — one of the SOC II’s leading scorers — to just 17 of their 35 points.
“The girls came out competing hard which is great to see. We had a tough matchup with Cochenour, had a message throughout the week in practice to help a teammate out,” Phillips said. “We used Emilie Johnson on her 1-on-1 and used a lot of help defense when she’d try and get it. I thought our team defense overall was great, in that we didn’t give her many open looks.”
Valley sophomore Emilie Johnson led the Lady Indians with a team-high 17 points, including knocking down five three pointers.
Junior Savannah Easter knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the first half, as part of her 10-point performance.
Madison Montgomery scored 10, Lexie Morrow nine, McKenna Dunham five, and Karsyn Davis two to round out Valley’s scoring in the win.
“We feel like we’ve put the time in, got a ton of shots in. If you’re open, we want you to shoot it. Able to make some shots and that helps on defense, makes you play harder and sprint the court faster. That stretch at the end of the second and beginning of the third quarters is something we talk about. We were able to stretch that lead out, which was huge.”
Valley hosts Portsmouth West on Monday and travels to Oak Hill on Thursday in SOC II play.
The Lady Indians will also participate in the Ironton St. Joseph holiday basketball tournament on Friday and Saturday of next weekend
Eastern will host Waverly and travel to Minford next week in SOC II play.
Eastern 4 13 6 12 — 35
Valley 9 15 16 13 — 53
EASTERN 35 (1-5, 0-4 SOC II)
Cylie Weaver 0 2-2 2, Kelsey Helphinstine 2 5-6 10, Addison Cochenour 2 0-1 4, Lydia Park 1 0-0 2, Gracie Fox 0 0-0 0, Abby Cochenour 6 2-2 17, Anna Cash 0 0-0 0, Madison Shuler 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 11 9-11 35; Three-point field goals: 4 (Abby Cochenour 3, Kelsey Helphinstine 1)
VALLEY 53 (3-3, 2-2 SOC II)
Kelsey LeBrun 0 0-0 0; Lexie Morrow 4 1-3 9, Karsyn Davis 1 0-0 2, Savannah Easter 3 2-2 10, Emilie Johnson 6 0-0 17, McKenna Dunham 2 1-2 5, Rylee Johnson 0 0-0 0, Madison Montgomery 4 2-4 10, Cassidy Montgomery 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 20 6-11 54; Three-point field goals: 7 (Emilie Johnson 5, Savannah Easter 2)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved