By William

LINDSBORG – The Smoky Valley girls were off to a rather good start in their opening game of substate on Monday before the smoke alarms went off and halted play for nearly an hour, then shortly after that the offensive wheels seemed to rattle for the Lady Vikings and they lost 41-32 to Haven on their home court.

The Lady Vikings were up 6-2 when the smoke alarms went off, causing the delay of nearly an hour after which Smoky Valley continued to play well, taking a five-point, 15-10 lead into the beginning of the second quarter, after which they could only put four more points on the scoreboard while Haven put 11 up to give the visitors a slim two-point lead, 21-19, heading into the halftime break.

Unfortunately for Smoky Valley the cold spell on offense extended beyond the halftime and Haven built a nine-point, 31-22 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of play where Smoky Valley could only manage to play them even resulting in the Lady Vikings season ending with the nine-point loss.

With the defeat, the Lady Vikings finished the 2020-21 season with a 13-8 record, the best by the Lady Vikings since 2008.

 “I was really worried about Haven because they are much better than their record indicated,” explained Lady Viking head coach Larry Van Der Wege. “I know Haven struggled late in the season, but I also knew they could be a tough match-up with Estill inside and Roper outside and you saw the effects of that tonight. In the first half it was Estill and when we seemed to shut her down in the second half, Roper got hot outside. At the same time, we struggled to put the ball in the bucket, especially in the second and third quarters. As the game goes on, the pressure continues to build, and it gets tougher and tougher to knock them down. Haven applies a lot of ball pressure and it affected us tonight as nothing came easy but at the same time, we had some good looks that just did not go down.”

The stats tell the tale as Smoky Valley dominated on the boards by out rebounding Haven 31-19, but for the game they only shot 31%, which does not win too many battles.

While eight Lady Vikings put points in the scorebook, none reached double digits with seniors McKinley Johnson and Ellie Brumbaugh leading the way with six points each while senior Claire Broxterman scored just five points but was a monster in the paint by pulling down 11 rebounds and making a pair of steals plus blocking a shot.

Speaking of the season and his seniors, coach Van Der Wege concluded his reflections of the final game by adding, “In the end, I am very proud of our effort as we battled throughout. Our team, led by our seniors, Ellie (Brumbaugh), Kerington (Haxton), McKinley (Johnson), and Claire (Broxterman) helped take our program to another level. We had the best record since 2008 and had a great atmosphere at home in hosting the substate game. Unfortunately, when the shots do not fall, the season comes to an end. We had a lot of girls contribute this year and the future is bright for Smoky Valley Lady Viking basketball.”


SCORING:                 Q1      Q2      Q3      Q4      FINAL

Haven                        10       11       10       10       41

LADY VIKINGS          15       4          3          10       32

Haven Team Stats: FG 15-38; 3PT 4-16; FT 5-12; AST 4; RBS 19; TO 7; STL 5; BLK 1; FLS 11.

SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS TEAM STATS: FG 11-36; 3PT 4-13; FT 6-11; AST 2; RBS 31; TO 11; STL 6; BLK 3; FLS 15.


Scoring (32): McKinley Johnson – 6; Ellie Brumbaugh – 6; Claire Broxterman – 5; Adrian Hazelwood – 4; Keira Mullen – 4; Kerington Haxton – 3; Breanna Priddy – 2; Abby Rose – 2.

3-Pointers Made (4): Brumbaugh – 2; Johnson, Haxton – 1.

Assists (2): Hazelwood – 2.

Rebounds (31): Broxterman – 11; Priddy, Rose – 5; Brumbaugh, Hazelwood – 3; Haxton – 2; Johnson, Avery Van Der Wege – 1.

Steals (6): Broxterman, Rose – 2; Hazelwood, Mullen – 1.

Blocked Shots (3): Broxterman, Rose, Priddy – 1.

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