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  • Val T.

Ault’s 15 points, Valley’s foul shooting, rebounding key win over NorthWood

Mellott adds 14, Petersen 12


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

AKRON — Lily Ault scored 15 points to lead three players in double figures, and the Tippecanoe Valley girls basketball team relied on advantages in free throw shooting and

Macy Petersen

rebounding to claim a 55-47 win over visiting NorthWood at Rita Price Simpson Court Tuesday.

Kaydence Mellott added 14 points, and Macy Petersen came off the bench to score 12 points and grab nine rebounds for Valley, who improved to 4-2.

Claire Payne had 11 points and seven rebounds for NorthWood (2-1). Joselyn Edwards added 10 points.

Valley closed on an 11-4 run, and the eight-point final margin represented Valley’s largest lead.

“Obviously, we got the right people to the line in that last three minutes, but we’ve been struggling with that a little bit as far as not necessarily not shooting enough, which we haven’t really, but getting the right people to the line,” Valley coach Chris Kindig said. “Kaydence was six for six in the last quarter from the line. Corinna Stiles was five for six. … And Lily Ault was two for two.”

The game marked the return to Valley for NorthWood coach Taylor Burkhart and assistant coach Robby Groom. Burkhart is a 2010 Valley grad, and Groom is a 2014 Valley grad.

They saw their Lady Panthers make just four of 12 free throws while Valley made 22 of 26. Valley also had a 37-22 rebounding edge with Petersen and Corinna Stiles tying for team-high rebounding honors and senior point guard Molly Moriarty adding eight boards.

Valley’s final 13 points came on free throws.

NorthWood cut what had been a six-point deficit down to 44-43 on an Aaniyah Bonner 3-pointer with 2:41 left.

But Mellott, who made all 10 of her free throw attempts, hit two with 2:20 left, and Stiles, who scored all seven of her points from the line, made two more with 2:00 left.

Mellott hit two free throws to offset a Payne 10-footer.

Stiles split a pair of free throws with 23.8 seconds left, and Edwards scored on a runner from the left to keep the margin at 51-47.

Mellott canned two more free throws with 11.5 seconds left, and when NorthWood tried to roll the ball inbounds, Ault hustled to force a held ball at midcourt. Valley received the ball on the possession arrow, and Stiles completed the scoring with 9.5 seconds left with two more free throws.

“I just kinda saw it rolling, so I went for it, I guess,” a smiling Ault said afterwards.

Ault might be best known for her 3-point shooting proficiency, but she also scored twice on drives to the basket during a three-minute span in the third quarter in which she scored seven straight Valley points. NorthWood was face-guarding Mellott, and Ault said that when that happens, it opens the driving lanes for players like her.

“Normally I shoot very much,” Ault said. “That’s my position. I felt like I drove a lot. I think the lanes were wide open, so I was driving and kicking out. … I feel like I’m more experienced. … I definitely worked on getting better with my left hand over the years.”

Petersen also scored six points in the third quarter, and it was her putback with 1:44 left in that quarter that put Valley ahead for good at 33-31.

“We couldn’t substitute for Macy because she was just playing so hard out there,” Kindig said. “She ended up with nine rebounds. … She was a big key. There were a lot of loose balls she got to and rebounds, and defensively, she was pretty solid too.”

Burkhart said free throw shooting was “huge” and also said he talked to his players about missed layups after the game, saying that free throws and layups often are the factor in close games.

He also reflected on his Valley experience. Burkhart and Nick Kindig, Chris’ son, were teammates at Valley during the 2009-10 season. Duane Burkhart, Taylor’s father, was the Valley athletic director who hired Chris Kindig.

And the associations between the Burkharts and Kindigs do not end there, according to Taylor.

“So coach Kindig was my eighth grade coach,” Burkhart said. “I played with his son here at Valley. And then coming back to coach against him. To me, being from here, it’s just special just walking in the gym, no matter if you’re playing, coaching or just being a fan. It was a very exciting experience.

“Our first away game. We had one day to prepare for this game, but in a way, it’s a unique experience to get back in the gym where it all started. It was fun.”

There were 10 lead changes in the first three quarters. An Ault 3-pointer from the left corner with 6:03 left in the game, which was set up by a Petersen offensive rebound and originally scored a 2-pointer on the scoreboard before later being changed to a 3-pointer after the next timeout, gave Valley a 40-34 lead before NorthWood inched closer.

Valley also notched a 44-27 win in the JV game. Millie Scorsone scored 21 points, Gaby Gonzalez had 12, Lydia Craig had seven, and Carlee Snyder had four.

Valley 55, NorthWood 47

NORTHWOOD (47) (2-1)

Aaniyah Bonner 3 0-3 7, Joselyn Edwards 4 0-0 10, Aaliyah Bonner 3 2-2 8, Karis Bennett 2 0-0 5, Claire Payne 5 1-2 11, Kailey Martin 0 0-0 0, Megan Yoder 2 0-1 5, Callie Johnson 0 0-0 0, Haylee Heflin 0 0-0 0, Brooklyn Redd 0 1-4 1

TEAM: 19 4-12 47

VALLEY (55) (4-2)

Lily Ault 5 2-2 15, Kaydence Mellott 2 10-10 14, Molly Moriarty 1 1-3 3, Corinna Stiles 0 7-8 7, Kelsey Cox 2 0-0 4, Macy Petersen 5 2-3 12, Chesnee Miller 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 15 22-26 55

Three-point field goals:

NorthWood 5 (Edwards 2, Aaniyah Bonner, Bennett, Yoder),

Valley 3 (Ault 3)

Total fouls: NorthWood 23, Valley 15

Fouled out: Payne (NW), 1:09, fourth

Turnovers: NorthWood 18, Valley 19

Score by quarters

NorthWood 7 15 9 16 – 47

Valley 9 11 13 22 – 55

JV: Valley 44, NorthWood 27


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