By William

HESSTON – Despite a night of poor shooting, the Smoky Valley girls basketball team was able to hang on through four quarters and two overtimes to earn a five-point, 44-39, victory on the road over Hesston on Tuesday evening.

The Lady Vikings held a four-point, 9-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and a five-point, 20-15 advantage as the two teams broke away for a halftime break.

Hesston shaved a point off the lead in the third quarter before deadlocking with Smoky Valley at 33-33 at the end of regulation play. After both teams stayed tied at 39-39 at the end of the first overtime, the Lady Vikings shutout Hesston in the second overtime to earn the five-point win.

It was the first win in Hesston for the Lady Vikings since 2004-05 season.

“Smoky Valley survived a cold night of shooting to come away with a double overtime win at Hesston,” explained Lady Viking Head Coach Larry Van Der Wege. “In the end, they hit just enough shots and free throws along with defensive stops to get the win.”

Two stats that stood out at the end of the game was how Smoky Valley forced Hesston to turn the ball over 21 times while only giving it up 11 times themselves, while the Lady Vikings connected on 16-of-28 free throws to Hesston only hitting on 10-of-20.

Ellie Brumbaugh and Kerington Haxton led the Lady Vikings in scoring with 15 and 12 points respectively, with Haxton connecting on three three-pointers. McKinley Johnson made six-of-seven free throws as she finished with eight points. Breanna Priddy led the team in the paint by grabbing eight rebounds while Abby Rose pulled down five.

Speaking of the team, Coach Van Der Wege continued his reflections of the game by saying, “We didn’t play our best game, but an ugly win is always better than a loss. Hesston was down a couple of players due to COVID, but they are still a quality program and it will never be easy to win in Hesston, so I am grateful to get out with the victory.”

Coach Van Der Wege concluded his reflections by adding, “In the last two games, we have shot 50% but tonight we were not able to get into a rhythm and get out and run for easy buckets. We only shot around 26% and as the game goes on, we all start feeling the pressure a bit more when the shots do not fall. I am proud of our team to have the toughness to overcome some inopportune fouls and plays down the stretch that kept us from winning in regulation time. They just kept battling and found the way to win.”

With the victory, the Lady Vikings are now 4-0 on the season and will host state ranked Halstead at home on Friday.

Hesston vs. SMOKY VALLEY

SCORING:        1          2          3          4          OT1     OT2     FINAL

Hesston          5          10        8          10        6          0          39

LADY VIKINGS 9          11        7          6          6          5          44

TEAM STATS:              Hesston          LADY VIKINGS

FGM-FGA                    13-35               12-45

3PTM-3PTA                 3-11                 4-20

FTM-FTA                     10-20               16-28

ASSISTS                       2                      5

REBOUNDS                  27                    23

TURNOVERS                21                    11

STEALS                        8                      7

BLOCKED SHOTS         2                      4

FOULS                          17                    15


Ellie Brumbaugh = 15 points with 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 rebound.

Kerington Haxton = 12 points with 3 3-pointers and 2 rebounds.

McKinley Johnson = 8 points with 6-7 on free throws, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 blocked shot.

Breanna Priddy = 5 points with 8 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.

Claire Broxterman = 2 points.

Abby Rose = 1 point with 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.

Adrian Hazelwood = 1 point with 3 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.

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