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Tri Counties Bank Girls Basketball Team of the Week: West Valley Eagles

West Valley High's Maddie Bassett goes up for a layup against Chico earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of Fred Lucero)

The Northern Athletic League continues to go through Cottonwood.

At the end of the season when the stakes are high and every mistake can be heartbreaking, West Valley High’s girls basketball team hasn’t flinched. The Eagles beat both NAL contenders Lassen and U-Prep last week to capture the outright NAL title, making it three straight years the Eagles had at least a share of the league crown. Even better, West Valley had to go on the road — two tough places to play — to achieve the feat, earning the Tri Counties Bank Girls Basketball Team of the Week.

“We knew going into league that to win league we would need to beat Lassen and U-Prep,” West Valley coach Lenny Ehn said. “Our team really gets up for those important games and played some of our best basketball against them.”

West Valley beat Lassen 48-40 to start the week and then handed U-Prep a 36-23 loss. The Eagles suffocated the Panthers in the league title clincher, holding them to one made field goal in the second half. Jasee Heacock and Maddie Steele both average 2.7 steals per game for the Eagles, who average 11.3 steals per game. The defense has been fueling the offense so far and Ehn doesn’t mind one bit

“Our girls are playing really well right  now, especially on the defensive end,” he said. “We try and mix our defenses from man to different zones. It seems like different girls step up each game. Jasee and Faith (Cramer) are lock-down defenders. We have four really good centers which allows me to go with the hot hand.”

On the offensive end, junior Jasee Heacock led the team in scoring this week with 13 and 15 points, respectively. But sophomore Maddie Bassett is leading the way with 10.9 points per game this season. Between Bassett, Heacock (7.8 PPG) and Steele (6.7 PPG) in the backcourt, the Eagles can push Willows, the top-ranked team in the Northern Section Power Rankings, for the D-IV section title.

Tri Counties Bank Girls Basketball Team of the Week

Week 1: Foothill Cougars
Week 2: Enterprise Hornets
Week 3: Shasta Wolves
Week 5: Redding Christian Lions
Week 6: Redding Christian Lions
Week 7: Enterprise Hornets
Week 8: Shasta Wolves
Week 9: Fall River Bulldogs
Week 10: West Valley Eagles

T.J. is a national-award winning journalist passionate about local news and telling the story no one else knows about. He’s roamed sidelines, baselines and bleachers in the North State since 2010 and is a content producer from sunup to sundown. Sports are a hobby he shares with his wife Tracy where they’ve spent many dates around a field or court of some sort.

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