Spring Valley girls power past George Washington
SPRING VALLEY — On a night when shots weren’t falling for Spring Valley’s girls basketball team, the Timberwolves simply kept battling.
Spring Valley overcame a tough offensive night with a physical defense to earn a 51-41 win over George Washington in a battle of two of Class AAA’s top 10 teams Monday in the Wolves Den.
After starting the year 0-2, the victory was the ninth in a row for the Timberwolves, who are No. 5 in the state.
“I thought we played hard the entire game, and that’s what we’ve been trying to get them to do,” Spring Valley coach Bo Miller said. “There are going to be nights where we don’t shoot good, but our defense will be. Tonight, our defense was pretty good.”
That defense provided the spark during a pivotal stretch in the third quarter.
After the Timberwolves limited George Washington’s Kelli Jo Harrison to a 1-of-8 shooting performance in the first half, Harrison scored the first six points of the second half to pull the Patriots within 24-22.
Frustrated by his team’s defensive play, Miller called a timeout to go back over what he wanted executed on the defensive end.
“We put them in the right spots, but they have to go out and play,” he said.
Following the timeout, Spring Valley’s defense executed well, fronting Harrison in the post and having backside rotation.
Over the next four minutes, Harrison was just 1-of-3 from the field while the Patriots had eight turnovers as a team with many coming as a result of guards trying to feed into the double-team.
That netted Spring Valley a 17-2 run during that stretch to turn the two-point lead into a 17-point cushion at the end of three quarters.
Sarah Kelly and Kassidy Lemons converted the George Washington turnovers into points. Lemons had six points during the run while Kelly had five while pushing the ball up the court and getting the ball into scoring position for teammates.
“When we have the ball in Sarah’s hands, usually good things happen,” Miller said. “She’s cutting her turnovers back now, and when she does that, we get a lot of good looks in transition.”
Kelly finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for Spring Valley (9-2) while Lemons came off the bench for her second-straight strong performance, ending the night with 11 points.
Lemons, who was coming off a 17-point, five 3-pointer night on Saturday, saw extended action Monday after starter Emily Butcher left with a shoulder injury.
“She’s coming off a really good night on Saturday night,” Miller said. “She can play. I know it’s there for her. I’ve just been waiting for her to do it.”
Madison Morris also finished with a double-double for Spring Valley, notching 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Harrison countered Morris’ post production by finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds. She was the only player for No. 8 George Washington in double-figures.
Spring Valley returns to action Tuesday at home against Ripley.
GEORGE WASHINGTON 9 7 8 17 — 41:Mobayed 6, Davis 2, Lowen 2, Harrison 18, Gilmore 2, Romeo 3, Ward 8
SPRING VALLEY 8 16 17 10 — 51: Heck 5, Ratcliff 4, Lemons 11, Mac. Morris 7, Mad. Morris 11, Kelly 13