By Tawnya Eastman
After a week of intense practicing, the JV Lady Vikings earned their hightops Friday, February 3, and stepped onto the court against Sacred Heart without the safety net of the varsity girls. The Ladies took the lead early in the first quarter with Ashley Butler, Ashley Morrell, Olivia Weber, and Julia Helal all putting points on the board, and by half-time, the JV Ladies were up 16-9.
Early foul trouble for both teams made for a nail biter as they stepped to the line, but the practice drill rightfully coined “3 in 3” paid off. The Ladies are well versed in their foul shots thanks to Coach Giles’ insistence that their ticket out of ladder runs is to sink 3 foul shots in a row within 3 minutes. In all, the JV ladies stood at the foul line twenty times adding 8 points to their score.
Although Sacred Heart picked up their offense and strengthened their defense for a second half push, it wasn’t enough to stop the Junior Vikings. The Ladies won their game 30 – 23. Best of all, each team member contributed to the win and learned a little about playing as a Viking. Arabella Hatfield learned she can drive to the hoop, and her tall stance helped her pull down 5 rebounds. Julia Helal learned her aggressive play can intimidate her opponents, and with a little control, she can steal the ball and score. She scored 6 points for her team. Olivia Weber gained a lot of confidence in the game and learned she has some great ball handling skills. Driving through her defenders drew her some fouls and she sank 3 of her 4 foul shots. Betsy Conger gained some intensity under the basket reaching up for her rebounds. She grabbed 3 and drew some fouls as well. Betsy added 4 points to the win. Ellanora Lerner has had a great training year earning some minutes with the varsity, but she shined in Friday’s game. She earned 2 assists and 3 rebounds. She even squared up to take a jump shot and put 2 points on the board. Lili Kane proved small can be fierce when she honed in on the ball. Not only did Lili stick herself in the mix for a rebound, but she stole the ball from the Sacred Heart team 4 times. Meg Allen’s attention to the game has driven her to continuously improve her skills. She has gained the tenacity needed to fight for the ball and the confidence needed to control the ball; and on Friday, she used them both. Meg pulled in 5 rebounds, completed 2 assists and scored a basket. Ashley Butler has a great eye for the court. She communicates well with the team to keep the court balanced and execute the plays. On Friday, she also showed that she can use her long limbs to control the ball. Not only did she score a basket, but she also pulled in 3 rebounds. Ashley Morrell has been building on her ball handling and strengthening her defense in each practice this year. Those skills were put to the test Friday when she stepped up as starting point guard. The Sacred Heart defense was tight, but Ashley managed to drive the ball in and execute the plays needed to score. With 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 11 points, Ashley has earned the JV Lady Vikings MVP award.