By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
HALSTEAD – It was a quick job of bouncing back from their first loss of the season for the Smoky Valley girls on Friday when they traveled south to Halstead and dominated the home team with a 32-point, 60-28 win.
The Lady Vikings sprinted out to a commanding 12-point, 18-6 lead by the end of the first quarter before putting another 19 points on the scoreboard in the second quarter to take a dominating 27-point, 37-10 advantage as they walked the hallway to the halftime break.
After piling another 10 points on to their lead coming out of the break in the third quarter, Smoky Valley cruised on in for the final 32-point victory.
“It was evident the girls played with a chip on their shoulder,” explained Lady Viking head coach Jason Drouillard. “They weren’t happy with the way they played Tuesday night against Hesston, and they were hungrier than ever to get a big win.”
While the Lady Vikings shot just 37% from the field, their defense allowed Halstead to connecting on just 20% of their shots, including hitting on just a pair of 16 shots from beyond the three-point arc.
The Smoky Valley girls held a 31-23 advantage in rebounds as well which included a hefty 13 offensive rebounds that resulted in second chance scoring opportunities, while the Lady Vikings also dished out 17 assists on their 22 made shots from the field.
Breanna Priddy had another huge game as she led the Lady Vikings in scoring with 18 points while just missing another double with the team leading eight rebounds.
It was a true team effort as Keira Mullen pitched in with 15 points, including three three-pointers, while Abby Rose had nine and both Tinley Scott and Adrian Hazelwood scored eight each with Hazelwood leading the team on offense with six assists.
Coach Drouillard continued his post-game reflections talking about some of the individual highlights by adding, “Having Abby (Rose) back helped us as she had a significant role on the defensive end. Keira (Mullen) and Breanna (Priddy) were unstoppable on the offensive end and when Keira is in rhythm like that, she’ll make anything while I loved the aggressiveness Breanna had at the rim but especially her willingness to shoot a jumper from 15 feet because it stretched the defense and opened up more driving lanes.”
Concluding his reflections with words about the team, Drouillard said, “The girls got their identity on the defensive end and made it extremely hard for a good Halstead team to score. It is great to get this win going into the break. We have a lot of momentum going for us and we will be excited to get back from the break as this is a very unselfish team, and it is fun to see the excitement they have for one another.”
WHAT’S NEXT FOR LADY VIKINGS?
With the victory the Lady Vikings will take a 4-1 record into the holiday break before returning to the competitive hardwood on Tuesday, January 4 when they will play host to Hoisington.
SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS at Halstead
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
LADY VIKINGS 18 19 17 6 60
Halstead 6 4 7 11 28
TEAM STATS: LADY VIKINGS Halstead
Shooting 22/58 (37%) 9/44 (20%)
3-Pointers 6/17 (35%) 2/16 (12%)
Free Throws 10/18 (55%) 8/14 (57%)
Rebounds (Off/Def) 31 (13/18) 23 (9/13)
Assists 17 n/a
Turnovers 9 19
Steals 8 n/a
Blocked Shots 1 n/a
Personal Fouls 10 15
SMOKY VALLEY LADY VIKINGS INDIVIDUAL SCORING & STAT LEADERS:
Three-Pointers Made (6): Keira Mullen – 3; Tinley Scott – 2; Abby Rose – 1.
Rebound Leaders: Breanna Priddy – 8; Adrian Hazelwood – 6; Abby Rose – 5; Maliyah Koster – 4; Tinley Scott – 3.
Assist Leader: Adrian Hazelwood – 6; Abby Rose – 5; Keira Mullen – 3.
Leader in Steals: Tinley Scott – 3; Adrian Hazelwood – 2.
Leader in Blocked Shots: Adrian Hazelwood – 1.