West Valley’s Maddie Steele (center) is one of the reasons the Eagles are the Shasta County Sports Girls Basketball Team of the Week for Week 6, taking second place in the New Year’s Hoops Tournament. (Photo by Mike Daly/Shasta County Sports)
When it comes to high school basketball, it’s easier to work inside then out. West Valley has it easier than most thanks to its duo of forwards Jenna Adkins and Ashlee Lewis.
West Valley finished in second place in its own tournament — the West Valley New Year’s Hoops Tournament — losing to upper division Red Bluff in the final. But the Eagles’ offense came alive in the two games before that, dismantling divisional opponents in Pierce and Sutter by scoring over 60 points in each to be named the Shasta County Sports Girls Basketball Team of the Week for Week 6.
While the ‘Twin Towers’ can get a lot of the credit for the Eagles’ success, they open up the floor for the rest of their teammates. Maddie Steele’s ability to control the game from the point and distribute to Adkins and Lewis inside sets up the whole offense. And it allows for players like Jasee Heacock and Jillian McWithey to flourish.
Against Pierce, West Valley put up 26 points in the opening quarter and rolled to a 67-31 victory thanks to 15 points from Steele, 13 from Heacock and 12 from Adkins. It was the Eagles’ highest scoring game of the season.
The following night, West Valley pounded Sutter 60-39, pulling away in the fourth with a 23-8 advantage. The Eagles got to the line 23 times (making 15 of them) but had 12 steals, three from Steele in the fourth quarter while Adkins and Lewis went to work underneath for a strong second half.
Although the week didn’t end with a victory, West Valley ran into a talented Red Bluff squad in a 46-36 tourney final. Adkins had 16 points to lead the way but Red Bluff hit 40 percent from the field, including six 3s to capture the title.
West Valley is 8-9 and opens up Northern Athletic League play Tuesday against Anderson at home at 6 p.m.