By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
CONCORDIA – The Smoky Valley girls showed why they remain unbeaten as they put the words ‘team effort’ into play on Friday in their dominating 60-27 victory on the road at Concordia.
With the Lady Vikings holding just a six-point, 8-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, the offense went into high gear, and they scored 23 points in the next eight minutes to take a commanding 22-point, 31-9, advantage into the break at halftime.
From that point on, the Lady Vikings continued to dominate offensively by putting 15 and 14 points on the board in the final two quarters to gain the dominating final 33-point win.
In a highly whistled game where the two teams combined for 47 free throws of which Smoky Valley made 65% and Concordia dipped below 50% at 48%, the Lady Vikings still prevailed despite being called for 20 personal fouls.
“It was definitely a tightly called game,” noted Lady Viking head coach Jason Drouillard. “We had to adjust rather quickly to how we played defense, which forced us to lose some aggressiveness on that end. Once we settled in, we really found our groove on offense in the second quarter. The girls stayed aggressive attacking the basket and were doing an excellent job of driving and kicking to the open shooter. It was really good to see how well we shared the ball, and it made it extremely tough for Concordia to key on any one player.”
While the Lady Vikings only shot 32% from the field, Concordia only made 20% of their shots which made rebounding a crucial factor in the game and Smoky Valley recorded 45 total rebounds to just 33 for the home team. Among the 45 caroms for the Lady Vikings, 19 were off the offensive boards leading to some good second chance opportunities.
Other areas the team effort showed up was in the turnover stat where the Lady Vikings forced Concordia into making 25 miscues handling the ball, including 13 by steals of Smoky Valley players such as Maliyah Koster and Adrian Hazelwood who had four and three swipes each.
While it was a team effort with nine different Lady Vikings putting at least two points on the board, the overall stat that stands out is Smoky Valley had not one, but two Lady Vikings record a double on the night.
Breanna Priddy led the team in rebounds with 11 while putting 10 points on the scoreboard and Adrian Hazelwood grabbed 10 rebounds to go with her team and game leading 16 points.
Also pitching in with solid scoring efforts were Katja Blanchat with eight while Abby Rose scored seven and Karee Adam chipped in with six, both coming on three-pointers.
Coach Drouillard continued his post-game reflections by adding, “We gave Concordia a different look on defense, and it helped us force some early turnovers. The girls off the bench provided great production, while helped us survive some early foul issues. There really was no drop off when we made substitutions, which will certainly help us in tight situations.”
Drouillard concluded his reflections by saying, “We were able to mix some lineups and get a lot of girls playing time and that will help us later in the season. I love what we are doing on both ends of the court. The girls play extremely hard and are very coachable. They have done a really impressive job buying into the system, and it is certainly paying off.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR the LADY VIKINGS?
With the victory, the Lady Vikings remain unbeaten at 3-0 for the season as they prep to host Hesston on Tuesday.
SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS at Concordia
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
LADY VIKINGS 8 23 15 14 60
Concordia 2 7 11 7 27
TEAM STATS: LADY VIKINGS Concordia
Shooting 18/56 (32%) 7/35 (20%)
3-Pointers 7/24 (29%) 3/6 (50%)
Free Throws 17/26 (65%) 10/21 (48%)
Rebounds (Off/Def) 45 (19/26) 33 (10/23)
Assists 9 1
Turnovers 12 25
Steals 13 6
Blocked Shots 1 0
Personal Fouls 20 19
SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS:
Scoring (60 Total Points): Adrian Hazelwood – 16; Breanna Priddy – 10; Katja Blanchat – 8; Abby Rose – 7; Karee Adam – 6; Keira Mullen – 5; Maliyah Koster – 3; Gracie Lambert – 3; Tinley Scott – 2.
Three-Pointers Made (7): Adrian Hazelwood, Abby Rose, Karee Adam – 2; Gracie Lambert – 1.
Rebound Leaders: Breanna Priddy – 11; Adrian Hazelwood – 10; Katja Blanchat – 7; Abby Rose – 6; Tinley Scott – 4; Gracie Lambert, Keira Mullen – 2.
Assist Leader: Breanna Priddy, Gracie Lambert, Maliyah Koster – 2.
Leader in Steals: Maliyah Koster – 4; Adrian Hazelwood – 3; Abby Rose – 2.
Leader in Blocked Shots: Adrian Hazelwood – 1.