By William

LINDSBORG – in the final home games of the season, the Smoky Valley Middle School girls’ basketball teams entertained Haven on Thursday and came away with two victories and one loss.

It was total domination and dismantling for the Junior Lady Vikings ‘A’ team as they scored a 52-1 victory, including a commanding 18-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter.

With the victory, the ‘A’ team finishes the regular season at 9-2 while going 8-1 in league play.

Keira Mullen had another solid game by leading the Junior Lady Vikings in scoring with 17, 12 of which came in the first quarter. Adrian Hazelwood took care of much of the scoring in the second half by putting 11 of her final 13 points in the scorebook in the final two quarters of play.

“Keira (Mullen) continued her excellent play and was incredibly active on defense as she forced several turnovers,” noted Junior Lady Vikings Head Coach Jason Drouillard as he reflected on the players of the game. “(Adrian) Hazelwood and Mullen have become a two-headed monster this season and have been great leaders to this entire team. Maliyah (Koster) wreaked havoc all night on the defensive end with her multiple steals while she also used her silky-smooth mid-range shot to grab her season high eight points. Tinley (Scott) put in another three-pointer to continue that streak of consecutive games with a made three-pointer to five games. Kayla (Nordberg) provided a great spark off the bench and found her way on the board with six points off a couple of nice midrange jumpers. Breanne (Peters) knocked down a three-pointer and provided great defense throughout the night. Alyssa (Holt) also joined the scoring part to add two in the book.”

Coach Drouillard concluded his ‘A’ game reflections by saying, “It was a dominant performance all around as they got off to a very quick start after going 18-0 in the first quarter. The girls played incredibly hard but most importantly as a team. Their unselfish play makes them extremely hard to guard as any of the five on the court can step up to score. The defense was extremely impressive as they just didn’t allow an inch. This game wrapped up the regular season and the girls are biting at the bit with the postseason tournament starting on Monday when we play host to Pratt Liberty Middle School, a team we beat 44-21 earlier in the season.”

In a low scoring defensive battle, the Junior Lady Vikings ‘B’ team also scored a victory over Haven with a four-point, 14-10 win.

Nevaeh Spitler led the ‘B’ team in scoring with six while Katja Blanchat chipped in with five and Sophia Fruits had three.

“This seventh-grade group has made a total commitment to the defensive side of the ball and it has paid off tremendously,” explained Coach Drouillard when reflecting on the ‘B’ game. In a very tough battle, the girls found themselves victorious yet again. They just seem to have found the knack to hold on to win those very tough games that come down to the wire.”

When talking about the ‘B’ team players, Coach Drouillard continued by adding, “Nevaeh (Spitler) led the team in scoring as she found the magic touch on some very tough shots. Ciara (Rawson) didn’t allow a tough night of shooting to stop her from making a great impact on the court as she was a force on the defensive end and rebounding, which became a huge factor down the stretch late in the game. Katja (Blanchat) has been a great leader for this group while Sophia (Fruits) never seems to tire during a game and continued her stifling defense.”

Coach Drouillard concluded his ‘B’ game reflections by saying, “This is such a tough group of girls that have found their identity as a team. Coach Knopp and I are unbelievably proud of this group for all their hard work and dedication to this team. After starting league play 1-4, the girls turned the tide and finished the year with a 6-5 league record. It’s truly the best way to show how much they have improved but also provides a great amount of excitement for next season. We thank the girls for an incredible season and allowing us to coach them.”

Coach Knopp finished off the ‘B’ game reflections by adding, “As the season is coming to an end for our teams, it’s been a true blessing getting to coach these girls alongside Coach Drouillard. This group has been extremely team-oriented, works hard, and makes us laugh daily. The seventh-grade girls continued their winning habits through their commitment to defense. They have improved by leaps and bounds, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”

It was not a complete sweep on the day though as the Junior Lady Vikings ‘C’ team came out on the short end of a 20-16 overtime game despite an impressive 10 points from Alyssa Holt, while Kelsee Adam contributed four and Nevaeh Spitler scored a pair of points.

“The girls fought all night but could never quite get that monkey off their back to take the lead,” noted Coach Drouillard when reflecting on the ‘C’ game. “While they were able to tie the game in the fourth, overtime saw Haven make the finish push to take the final four-point lead to steal the game. The Junior Lady Vikings were led by Alyssa (Holt) as she made some very tough shots that continuously kept the score close. While it was a tough fought game, the ‘C’ team girls have a chance to end their season on a high note as we travel to Lyons for a tournament on Saturday. We are very excited to see the girls come together to finish strong.”

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)