By William

STERLING – With both teams struggling on offense, it came down to turnovers and rebounds that cost the Smoky Valley girls basketball team a victory in the first round of the 7th Annual Sterling Girls Basketball Invitational on Tuesday as they lost by 12, 43-31 to Hugoton.

Only seven points were scored in the first quarter between the two teams with Hugoton having the slim 5-2 advantage heading into the second period of play. The Lady Vikings held their own in the second quarter by putting eight points on the scoreboard to Hugoton’s nine, but still were behind at halftime, 14-10.

Hugoton seemed to find some offense in the third quarter by scoring 17 while Smoky Valley still struggled and only scored seven to give Hugoton a commanding 31-17 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play. The Lady Vikings did out score Hugoton 14-12 in the final quarter as it did not put a dent in the final 12-point loss.

“The first half was a defensive battle with neither team scoring with any efficiency,” noted Lady Viking Head Coach Larry Van Der Wege. “I was proud of our defensive effort all night long. Hugoton’s six-foot-one Mikyn Hamlin is a load inside and compliments the outside shooting of their guards very well. We got out and ran much better tonight and were able to get some transition baskets. The third quarter was the difference, but I was proud that we didn’t give up and made a run at them in the fourth quarter. Tonight, was a tough matchup for our post players but it should improve for them the next couple of games.”

Leading the Lady Vikings offense on Tuesday was Ellie Brumbaugh who used three three-pointers to help her put 15 points in the scorebook for the game, while Kerington Haxton also hit for double digits with 10.

The difference maker for the game came down to the Lady Vikings turning the ball over 19 times and being out rebounded in the paint 37-29, including giving up 16 offensive, second-chance rebounds to Hugoton when they had the ball.


The loss drops the Lady Vikings season mark to just 3-5 as they now prep to return to Sterling on Thursday when they will battle with Kingman in the consolation bracket.



LADY VIKINGS              2          8          7          14        = 31

Hugoton                      5          9          12        12        = 43

TEAM STATS:              LADY VIKINGS              Hugoton

Shooting                      13-36 (36%)                 16-54 (30%)

3-Pointers                    5-14 (36%)                   6-24 (25%)

Free Throws                0-2 (0%)                       5-10 (50%)

Assists                          11                                9

Rebounds (Off/Def)    29 (4/25)                     37 (16/21)

Turnovers                    19                                12

Blocked Shots              0                                  2

Steals                           6                                  6

Personal Fouls             12                                12

SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKING INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS (31 total points): Ellie Brumbaugh – 15; Kerington Haxton – 10; Breanna Priddy – 2; McKinley Johnson – 2; Kaylie Ryan – 2. Three-Pointers Made (5): Ellie Brumbaugh – 3; Kerington Haxton – 2. Assists Leader: Kerington Haxton – 4. Rebound Leaders: Breanna Priddy – 8; Kerington Haxton – 5. Leader in Steals: Kerington Haxton – 4.

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(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers)