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West Valley girls press way to 44-31 NAL win over U-Prep

West Valley got 14 points from Maddie Bassett and played stout defense in a 44-31 win over U-Prep on Friday.

COTTONWOOD – The pressure is on … at least that’s what the West Valley girls basketball team applied on Friday night.

Full-court pressing mid first half until the end of the game.

The Eagles defense provided a 35-15 second-half edge to remain unbeaten in Northern Athletic League play on Friday with a 44-31 win over U-Prep.

Sophomore Maddie Bassett said seeing the Panthers in the first-half, led to the second-half adjustments.

“We talked at half about what we as a team need to do better,” she said. “Focusing on their weaknesses and our strengths. We put that together in the second half.”

A low-scoring first quarter saw both teams combine for 11 points and U-Prep led 16-9 at intermission.

The Eagles cranked their defense up a notch in the second half, applying full-court press. West Valley’s pressure keyed an 11-5 edge in the third period.

Maddie Steele’s 3-pointer opened the quarter and a U-Prep turnover resulted in a Bassett layup, an and-1 layup by Arika Baxter, and another post score by Baxter in the quarter, gave the Eagles a 25-21 lead at the end of the period.

A deep, right wing 3-pointer by Bassett capped off a 10-4 run to start the final period as the Eagles extended their lead to double-digits. The win keeps the Eagles unbeaten in Northern Athletic League play at 3-0 (13-7 overall).

Bassett didn’t look like a sophomore on a senior-heavy squad, leading the team in scoring with 14, above her 11.7 points per game average.

“She’s (Bassett) only a sophomore but she looks like a senior,” said West Valley coach Lenny Ehn. “She knows where to be on every play. Just a natural scorer.”

U-Prep allowed a 16-9 first half lead slip away, being outscored 35-15 in the second half. Melanie Lindsey led the Panthers with 14 and Jordan McCoy — coming off a two-game absence had eight points — all in the first half.

“I think, defensively, it was two teams playing really good defense in each half. In the second half they did a really good job at applying pressure and we didn’t do quite as well as we needed to,” Panthers’ coach Steven Schuster said.

U-Prep- 6-10-5-10-31
West Valley- 5-4-16-19-44
U-Prep (12-8, 2-1 NAL) – Lindsey 14, McCoy 8, Hokanson 3, Kaney 3, Cox 2, Kraft 1.
West Valley (13-7, 3-0 NAL) – Bassett 14, Steele 7, Baxter 7, Wayne 5, Heacock 5, Cramer 2, Johnson 2, Proscher 2.

Max is a young up-and-coming journalist who carries shares a die-hard passion for sports with the rest of the SCS team and has loved sports ever since he can remember. He's covered Northern Section championship football and basketball games as well as state playoffs games in his first year as a reporter for SCS. Max is currently enrolled at Shasta College and is working toward his Bachelors Degree in journalism.

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