Valley Central’s girls’ basketball team used its aggression Monday, Jan. 28 to stifle the visiting Lady Goldbacks from Newburgh Free Academy.
And the tenacity took hold in the first quarter when Newburgh led 6-4 with three minutes to go in the period. But the Lady Vikings turned it around and went on a 6-0 run through the next minute and led 12-8 at the end of the period with threes from Katie Crofoot and Mackenzie Ross.
The Lady Vikings continued to push with its offense and defense before winning 61-40.
“Defensively, we were fine. But what killed us tonight was their press. The press is what hurt us in the third quarter,” said Arturo Santana, Newburgh’s coach. “I can’t get mad at not making shots. I can get mad at effort and lack of focus. Our effort is always there.”
The Lady Goldbacks did not get that many open looks, and no one scored in double figures. E’layasia Williams led Newburgh with 8 points, and Alera Jicha scored 7 points for the Lady Goldbacks.
Diamond Bullard scored 6 points, and Gabby Palladino and Nyah Williams both scored 5 points with a three for Newburgh’s only perimeter shots.
Crofoot led Valley Central with 13 points, and she did it with a trio of threes. Shaina Cooney scored 11 points, going 3 for 5 from the foul line. Deanna Murdock scored 8 points with a pair of threes, and Ross scored 6 points with a pair of threes.
“In the end, our press is what got us through,” said Randy Axtell, Valley Central’s coach, after his team improved 11-3. “They turned it over a few times, and we got some easy looks.”
Newburgh dropped to 4-9.