Hungry Wolves devour Cougars
SPRING VALLEY -- Prior to Spring Valley's girls basketball contest Monday night against Capital, many of the Timberwolves' starters could be heard in the hallway talking about their pre-game meal.
They were actually worried because they felt a little lethargic because of the burgers and various items eaten prior to taking on the Cougars.
It turned out the Timberwolves realized they were still a little hungry and in the mood for dessert.
So what was the dessert of choice?
Turnovers, of course.
And on this night, there was plenty to go around for the team.
Spring Valley forced 15 turnovers in the first quarter and finished with 21 steals on 30 Capital turnovers to earn an easy 70-40 win over the Cougars at the Wolves' Den.
"I was hoping our pressure could turn them over early and get us some separation from them," Spring Valley coach Bo Miller said.
"They did a good job tonight."
The win was the 13th straight for Spring Valley, which is No. 3 in the Class AAA state poll.
From the game's onset, the Timberwolves never left much doubt, pressuring the Cougars instantly and forcing turnovers which led to easy opportunities at the rim.
Admittedly, Miller said his team didn't finish well at the rim and missed many opportunities early to blow the game out of proportion.
A pair of missed layups for Spring Valley were followed by a 3-pointer by Capital's Khadijah Lee to make it 10-7 midway through the first quarter.
That would be the last time the game was a one-possession affair as Spring Valley forced five turnovers over the next four minutes during a 16-2 run that put the game out of reach.
Point guard Sarah Kelly provided the run's defensive spark with three steals while also deflecting several passes into the arms of teammates before feeding the ball underneath to Maddie and Mackenzie Morris, who finished off the transition opportunities.
Kelly had six assists and four steals in the first quarter and Mackenzie Morris netted 10 of her 12 points in the first quarter to push the Timberwolves to a 26-9 lead after one.
As the game settled in, Maddie Morris took over on both ends. She scored 14 of her game-high 20 points in the first half and added 10 rebounds and six steals.
In the third quarter, Maddie Morris even laughed a bit after missing a shot at close range. Despite struggling to finish at times, she kept a smile on her face and nearly ended up hustling her way to a triple-double.
"Maddie plays hard and some nights shots fall, some they don't," Miller said. "She's going to get good looks. One of these nights, her shot is going to fall throughout and she's going to end up with 40. She's struggling around the basket, but she's always around the ball. She's got a good head on her shoulders and she knows that if she continues to work, good things will happen."
Capital got 16 points and 12 rebounds from Lee, along with 10 points and 10 rebounds from Briana Harris.
Brooke Heck added 10 points and seven rebounds Spring Valley, who travels to Cabell Midland on Wednesday before hosting Huntington High on Friday.
CAPITAL 9 7 10 14 -- 40: Harris 10, Foster 2, Hairston 4, Walker 4, Wood 2, Reavis 2, Lee 16.
SPRING VALLEY 26 14 15 15 -- 70: McGraw 4, Heck 10, Mathis 4, Ratcliff 7, Lemons 6, Darby 2, Mac. Morris 12, Mad. Morris 20, Kelly 5.