By William

LINDSBORG – The Smoky Valley girls basketball team came into the game unbeaten but knew the road would be tough as they were hosting Halstead, the number two team in Class 3A, but played them tough at least for the first half before stumbling in the third quarter and taking their first loss of the season, 54-35.

After leading by one at the end of the first quarter, 8-7, the Lady Vikings fell behind by just one, 19-18, by the halftime break.

But then the third quarter rolled around, and Halstead put 20 points on the board while Smoky Valley struggled and only scored four, putting them at a 17-point deficit that they could not overcome in the loss.

“This was a very physical battle where we worked hard to keep it our of the hands of their star six-foot forward, Karena Gerber,” explained Lady Viking Head Coach Larry Van Der Wege. “We were able to keep her scoreless in the first half, unfortunately, they made adjustments after the half that opened up their offense against our zone. We went cold in the third quarter and we were not able to keep pace. Once the lid came off the basket in the fourth quarter, the deficit was too much.”

Halstead scored 12 more times than did the Lady Vikings from the field and that was the difference in the game.

Adrian Hazelwood was the lone Lady Viking to reach double digits as she scored 10, with Ellie Brumbaugh chipping in with nine and McKinley Johnson had seven.

While Breanna Priddy only scored two points, she led the Smoky Valley work in the paint and on the boards as she pulled down eight rebounds, while Abby Rose blocked four shots.

Coach Van Der Wege concluded his reflections on the game by adding, “I was immensely proud of our effort against one of the best teams in the state. I think most people would say that the game was much closer than the score indicated. Halstead has a lot of weapons, to their credit, and have enough other weapons to keep teams from being able to totally focus on Gerber. We will take a few weeks off and then prepare for the rest of the schedule.”

Now 4-1 for the season, the Lady Vikings will return to competitive action on Tuesday, January 5 when they travel to Hoisington before playing Halstead again, this time on the road on Friday, January 8.

Halstead at SMOKY VALLEY

SCORING:        1          2          3          4          FINAL

Halstead         7          12        20        15        54

LADY VIKINGS 8          10        4          13        35

TEAM STATS:              Halstead         LADY VIKINGS

FGM-FGA                    21-42               9-38

3PTM-3PTA                 6-17                 4-16

FTM-FTA                     4-9                   13-17

ASSISTS                       5                      4

REBOUNDS                  24                    22

TURNOVERS                9                      11

STEALS                        7                      5

BLOCKED SHOTS         4                      5

FOULS                          15                    12


Adrian Hazelwood = 10 points with 3 rebounds, 1 steal.

Ellis Brumbaugh = 9 points with 2 3-pointers, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal.

McKinley Johnson = 7 points with 2 rebounds, 2 steals.

Abby Rose = 5 points with 4 blocked shots, 2 rebounds.

Breanna Priddy = 2 points with 1 blocked shot, 8 rebounds.

Avery Van Der Wege = 2 points with 1 assist, 2 rebounds.

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