By Travis Smola
After returning from winter break, the Vicksburg varsity girls’ basketball team lost their first three games in a row. They’ve since turned that around, winning five in a row.
After downing Constantine 43-35 on the road, the team returned to home court for Homecoming against Sturgis and came away with a resounding 41-27 win. The two teams played things close in the first half. The score was 11-9 Vicksburg after the first quarter before Sturgis took a 20-18 lead at the half.
“The first half I felt like we got shots that we wanted; we just didn’t make them,” Head Coach Tim Kirby said. “I told my girls; ‘You keep taking the shots and they’re going to go in.’”
The girls did just that. The Lady Bulldogs took an eight-point lead in the third quarter, holding the Trojans to only two points. “I thought we came out with a better defensive intensity in the third quarter and that was really the difference,” Kirby said.
The lead scorer for Vicksburg was Hannah Vallier. She sunk five 3-pointers on her way to a 19-point night. She also had eight rebounds in the contest. “She’s hard to stop when she starts hitting threes,” Kirby said.
The whole team seemed to be passing and rebounding much better than they did in the first half of the season. “That’s one of the things the first time we played them, we didn’t rebound very well,” Kirby said. “It’s something we’ve really been working on in practices, taking care of the ball a little bit better.”
Brady Brown was the next leading scorer with eight points on the night, using her height under the basket to frustrate the defense. Kelsey Diekman and Chloe Hatridge both had four points on the night, Payton Lewis had three, Allyson Naster had two and Danielle Diekman had one on a free throw.
The win was a big one because the team was fighting for position in the Conference with Sturgis.
The momentum continued after the big Homecoming win as the team picked up three more victories against South Haven, Dowagiac and Parchment. The wins should put the Lady Bulldogs in a solid position going into District Play.
“We really wanted that one tonight, it was a big win for us,” Kirby said. The girls’ five-game winning streak was ultimately ended at home against Edwardsburg in a 62-27 loss to drop their record to 10-9.