By William

STERLING – Despite running into major offensive struggles in the second half, the Smoky Valley girls basketball team did just enough to score a one-point, 32-31, victory over Scott City on Friday and earn a 3rd Place finish at the Sterling Invitational.

The Lady Vikings held a five-point, 17-12, advantage by the end of the first quarter and stretched the lead out to nine points at 25-16 going into the halftime break, then came the second half.

Smoky Valley was only able to muster two points in the third quarter while Scott City put 13 on the board and took over the lead at 29-27 heading into the final eight minutes of basketball. The final quarter saw just seven points scored with five being by the Lady Vikings, just enough to earn the final one-point win.

“It was a tale of two halves,” noted Lady Viking Head Coach Larry Van Der Wege. “We made enough plays down the stretch to come away with the 32-31 victory and earn a 3rd place finish at the Sterling Invitational.”

Ellie Brumbaugh led the Lady Vikings with 11 points, including three three-pointers, while Adrian Hazelwood chipped in with seven. Abby Rose made her contributions in the paint as she lead Smoky Valley with seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

Speaking of his players, Coach Van Der Wege added, “We were led by Ellie (Brumbaugh) in the first half with all 11 of her points scored prior to the intermission. Adrian (Hazelwood) finished with seven, including the only two points we scored in the third quarter while also making a pair of free throws down the stretch to ultimately put the Lady Vikings on top. Another contributor to the win down the stretch was a big 3-pointer made by Abby Rose.”

Concluding his reflections on the game, Coach Van Der Wege said, “What a grind at the end of a busy week. We were able to execute offensively pretty well in the first half by shooting 64%. The second half was a completely different story. Scott City had something to do with that, but we did not move the ball as well as we did in the first half. It also causes all of us to start getting tense as the scoring drought continues. At the same time, our girls found a way to win and that is ultimately what’s important. I am also proud of the defensive effort to hold Scott City to only two points in the fourth quarter. They especially defended in the last 30 seconds to secure the win. This is the first time Smoky Valley has finished in the top half of the Sterling Invitational in several years so we didn’t expect it would come easy. An ugly win is better than a loss any day.”

The win raises the Lady Vikings overall record on the season to 6-4 as they now prep to host Hutchinson Trinity on Tuesday.


SCORING:                 1          2          3          4          FINAL

Scott City                  12       4          13       2          31

LADY VIKINGS          17       8          2          5          32

TEAM STATS:           Scott City      LADY VIKINGS

FGM-FGA                  14-44             11-32

3PTM-3PTA              1-9                  5-18

FTM-FTA                   2-4                  5-11

ASSISTS                     8                      8

REBOUNDS               22                   25

TURNOVERS             9                      16

STEALS                       11                   3

BLOCKED SHOTS     3                      6

PERSONAL FOULS  11                   11


Ellie Brumbaugh = 11 points with 3 3-pointers, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal.

Adrian Hazelwood = 7 points with 1 3-pointer, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 blocked shots.

Breanna Priddy = 5 points with 3 rebounds, 1 blocked shot.

Abby Rose = 3 points with 1 3-pointer, 7 rebounds, 2 blocked shots.

Kerington Haxton = 2 points with 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal.

Keira Mullen = 2 points.

Claire Broxterman = 2 points with 2 rebounds, 1 blocked shot.

McKinley Johnson = 2 assists, 1 rebound, 1 steal.

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