By Travis Smola
The Vicksburg girls varsity basketball team has a 3-3 record and is trying to figure some things out in the early part of the season after wins against Comstock, Allegan and Paw Paw and losses to Three Rivers, Otsego and Wayland.
“We haven’t beat Comstock in five years, so it was good to get that first win under our belt,” Head Coach Tim Kirby said. “We didn’t really shoot well in that game either. We missed several layups and we shot 1 for 11 from the foul line, but Hannah (Vallier) came out hot at the beginning and scored the first nine points of the game. We never really looked back. It was one of those things where it was never really in doubt even though we didn’t shoot the ball well.”
The 37-28 win led into a home opener against Three Rivers that was a completely opposite type of game. The Lady Bulldogs struggled all night to contain the Wildcats’ Kali Heivilin. “If you can’t keep her (Heivilin) off the glass, she’s going to eat you alive and she did tonight. That was really the difference,” Kirby said.
Three Rivers got out to an early 10-0 lead and led 20-1 after the first period. The girls mounted a little bit of a run in the second. Sydney Finos was the leading scorer of the game with seven points. Kelsey Diekman had three, and Paige Yant, Vallier, Chloe Hatridge and Sophia Blankenship each had one. Allyson Naster had a free throw to round out the scoring.
Kirby believes Three Rivers may be one of the toughest matches they’ll have all year. “It’s really early and that’s a really good basketball team,” he said. “Honestly, I think they’re the favorite to win the conference this year with the depth and experience they’ve got coming back.”
He says the Bulldogs need to improve in shooting and a few other areas. The girls did improve their record to 2-2 after they beat rival Paw Paw 58-45 a week later and then went 3-3 with a 54-35 win over Allegan right before holiday break.
“I have a lot of girls returning but we are still just trying to figure some things out,” Kirby said. “We’ll keep working and hopefully we can get back on our winning track here.”