By William

LARNED – It is time for the league post-season tournament for the Smoky Valley Middle School girls’ basketball team and they hit the floor running, scoring a 28-point, 50-22 victory over Larned on Monday.

It was the first round of the post-season tournament and the Junior Lady Vikings took care of business from the opening tip and rolling into the halftime break with an eight-point, 26-18 advantage.

In the second half the Junior Lady Viking defense played lights out by holding Larned to just four total points while ringing up 24 on the scoreboard to earn the 28-point, 50-22 win.

“After an extra day weekend thanks to a snow day, the girls hit the floor ready to take care of business,” noted Junior Lady Viking Head Coach Jason Drouillard. “Their height was especially a challenge for us as we struggled to contest many of their inside shots, and we knew we had to take away the posts in the second half if we wanted to maintain our lead after halftime.”

Coach Drouillard gave much credit to his assistant coach as he continued his post-game reflections by saying, “I asked Coach Knopp where we needed to make adjustments and she brought up the need to focus on our rotations on defense to take away the backside post. She showed why she’s one of the best in the business as this adjustment helped our girls hold Larned to just four total points in the second half. As a team, we played absolutely lights out in the second half on defense, ensuring they didn’t have any easy lanes to the goal. Several of our girls were able to nab steal after steal as we took away their bread and butter to shut their offense down. Offensively, we really spread them out and forced them to guard all areas of the court.”

Adrian Hazelwood led the Junior Lady Vikings offense by putting 20 points in the scorebook, though it was her defense and rebounding that was really the difference maker according to her coaches. Tinley Scott knocked down a couple of threes and was all over the court on defense as she also finished in double digits with 11 points.

Keira Mullen made it three Junior Lady Vikings in double digits by powering her way to 10 points and proving to be a force not to be reckoned with not just in scoring but by making several big-time key rebounds.

Maliyah Koster relied on her stingy defense and quick hands to nab multiple steals to help cover some shooting woes as she finished with just four points for the evening.

Jordyn Elseth and Kayla Norberg rounded out the Junior Lady Viking scoring with four and one point respectively while Ava Broxterman, Breanne Peters and Kelsee Adam all supplied solid minutes off the bench.

Coach Drouillard concluded his reflections by adding, “Our bench was able to provide very good minutes and allowed the starters to rest and stay fresh going into the fourth quarter. I’m so very proud of the way the girls handled business tonight and while we enjoy this win, we also know that Thursday is the big one as we will play the winner of the matchup between Hoisington and Pratt/Liberty. This team is certainly hungry and ready to prove themselves.

JUNIOR LADY VIKINGS INDIVIDUAL SCORING (50 total points): Adrian Hazelwood – 20; Tinley Scott – 11; Keira Mullen – 10; Maliyah Koster – 4; Jordyn Elseth – 4; Kayla Norberg – 1.

(Follow us at www.mcpherson-county-ks.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/mcphersoncountyks/)

(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)