HERSHEY — Hershey and Valentine met at Hershey High School on Tuesday to make up a game that was postponed because of weather earlier this year. Hershey got a game-high 19 points from Tayler Baker and 14 points from Daynlee Miller as the Lady Panthers downed Valentine 57-39, while the Badgers outscored Hershey 23-8 in the third quarter to go on to a 64-26 win over the Panthers.
The opening quarter was a high-scoring affair during the girl’s contest, with the Lady Panthers holding a 21-10 advantage heading into the second quarter. Miller and Baker scored nine and eight points respectively in the quarter for Hershey.
Baker hit two of her five 3s during the quarter, and after hitting three deuces, Miller connected from behind the arc at the buzzer.
Although the Lady Panthers led by 11 at the break, Hershey coach Jeremy Thomas was uneasy with his teams’ defensive play.
“We gave up some easy shots during the first quarter,” said Thomas. “I wasn’t really happy with that, but I thought they set the tone after that.”
“Offensively we got some good shots — really just making that extra pass and finding each other. A lot of girls had open shots but they knew the next rotation over would be wide open.
“Finding Tayler in the corner — she got hot early. I was proud of the ball movement and the shot selection.”
The Lady Panthers only allowed one lone second-quarter free throw for Valentine as Hershey grabbed a 32-11 lead heading into the locker room at half.
Six different Lady Panthers scored in the quarter and Hershey caused several Lady Badgers turnovers.
“That second quarter was superb,” Thomas said. “They were playing hard and attacking the ball. Especially on defense getting in the passing lanes and getting deflections, using each other and then finding each other
Valentine, playing without seniors Skylar Mathis and Allie Millard due to injuries, struggled to keep up with the Hershey pressure. Millard’s is a season ending injury.
“Obviously leadership comes from them,” said Valentine coach Dan Wolken when talking of Mathis and Millard. “They do a nice job of playing in the paint for us.
“I think it was more mental than physical. They just had a tough time believing they could play that game. You just go to the next step and bring in the next group of people and just play the game. We didn’t do that in the first half. It just wasn’t acceptable.
“I thought they did a decent job in the second half with the adjustments we made. You just want people that will come out and play the game every night.”
Baker began the third quarter with back-to-back 3s from the right baseline in helping the Lady Panthers build a 40-13 lead before much of the bench took to the courts.
“She was huge,” Thomas said. “She wanted one more to tie the record. I told her before the game ‘you’re going to hit four or five tonight.’ She did, she knocked them down.”
Valentine closed the gap to 17 at the end of three quarters, but the two teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter for the 57-39 Hershey win.
“I thought they played much better in the second half,” Wolken said. “They found they could play without [Mathis and Millard] on the floor.
“We need to find ourselves as a team without those two people on the floor. You lose two seniors in one game, that causes trouble for your team to find its identity.”
Emily Perrett led the Lady Badgers with 15 points.
Hershey (15-3) 21 11 11 14 — 57
Valentine (9-8) 10 1 15 13 — 39
Hershey stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Daynlee Miller 3, 2, 2/2, 14; Brooke Frederick 2, 0, 0/1, 4; Tyler Baker 2, 5, 0/0, 19; Maddie Seamann 1, 0, 3/4, 5; Bobbi Brannan 0, 0, 2/2, 2; Taylor Mustion 3, 0, 0/0, 6; Ryce Troyer 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Jenna Young 1, 0, 1/2, 3; Brooke Munsen 1, 0, 0/0, 2.
Valentine stats: Brianna Bussinger 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Emily Perrett 4, 0, 7/10, 15; Brittney O’Kief 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Lindsay Fay 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Shawna Wheeler 0, 1, 0/0, 3; Shaniya DeNaeyer 0, 0, 2/4, 2; Michelle Renning 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Sydney Belville 3, 0, 1/2, 7.
Badgers down Panthers
Hershey’s Kalon Czarnick had just cut the Badgers lead to one at 7-6 before Valentine’s Anthony Fast Horse took control, scoring the next seven points to put the Badgers up 14-6.
Fast Horse, first hit a 12-foot jumper on the baseline and then drove to the bucket for two. He finished off the run with a 3 from the right wing.
“Anthony, he’s a shooter,” said Valentine coach Blake Beebout. “When he gets hot or gets his feet set it’s got to the point if he misses we’re all surprised on the bench. He can really pour it in and the kids are doing a really good job of finding him now.
“We like to pound the ball inside in our offense and when teams clog the lane up it can really be a dagger when we kick it out. Anthony did a really good job tonight.”
Valentine held a 12-8 scoring advantage in the second quarter, putting the Badgers up 26-15 at half. But it was the third quarter that finally did the Panthers in. The Badgers ran off 10 straight to begin the quarter to hold a 36-15 advantage with 5 minutes, 33 seconds left in the quarter.
Fast Horse began the run with a 3 from the left corner and A.J. Wrage scored three the old-fashioned way off the fast break. Wrage, starting for the injured Dillon Eklund, matched game-high scoring honors with Fast Horse with 15 points apiece.
“He’s come off the bench and just been great for us giving us points,” said Beebout. “He goes to the glass well. He has a good head on his shoulders and gets in peoples faces defensively. I’m really proud of A.J.’s effort tonight.”
Hershey continued to struggle in the second half with turnovers, limiting their scoring attempts.
“We’ve just got to get better taking care of the ball,” said Hershey coach Dustin Jorgenson. “They’re athletic and a really good team, but right now it’s tough to compete when you’re averaging 30 turnovers a game. We just have to get better taking care of the ball.”
Valentine outscored Hershey 15-3 in the fourth quarter, giving them a 38-11 second half scoring advantage and improving their record to 12-3 on the year.
“I wish we could have started the game the way we started the third quarter defensively,” Beebout said. “After the half we were in the passing lanes, we were pressuring the ball and looking to trap. We forced them into a lot of turnovers and then we got a lot of points out of that.”
“They picked up their intensity on defense and we just didn’t respond,” Jorgenson said. “We folded. We buckled under the pressure.
“I told the kids we just have to step up. That’s just me not having us prepared. We just have to get better and prepare better.”
Josh Margritz led the Panthers with eight points.
Hershey (6-12) 7 8 8 3 — 26
Valentine (12-3) 14 12 23 15 — 64
Hershey stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Tyson Osborne 0, 2, 0/0, 6; Jowh Connell 1, 0, 0/1, 2; Landan Maassen 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Gaige Marshall 0, 0, 0/2, 0; Dylan Johnson 1, 0, 2/4, 4; Josh Margritz 1, 1, 3/4, 8; Kalon Czarnick 1, 0, 0/2, 2; Ariel Quiroga 0, 0, 1/2, 1; Ryan Cox 0, 0, 1/2, 1.
Valentine stats: Jessi Owen 0, 1, 0/0, 3; Brooks Coleman 4, 0, 0/0, 8; Mat Kluender 1, 0, 2/4, 4; Quin Conner 4, 0, 0/0, 8; Nick Krueger 0, 0, 4/4, 4; A.J. Wrage 6, 0, 3/4, 15; Alex Dredge 0, 2, 1/2, 7; Anthony Fast Horse 3, 3, 0/0, 15.