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  • Val T.

Valley brings ‘elite heat,’ gets 16 from Petersen in win over Rochester

Clevenger gets all 4 Lady Z field goals, scores 10


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Rochester Junior Ella McCarter looks to drive vs Tippecanoe Valley Tuesday night. Valley would get the win in non conference action 42-16 Photo Courtesy of Dee Brown

AKRON — As they walked through the handshake line following his team’s game with Tippecanoe Valley Tuesday, Rochester girls basketball coach Joel Burrus made it a point to compliment Tippecanoe Valley senior guard Chesnee Miller.

“You’re one of the best on-ball defenders we’ve seen,” Burrus told her.

Valley relied on that defense – Burrus later described their on-ball pressure as “elite heat” – and 16 points from senior forward Macy Petersen to beat the visiting Lady Zs 42-16 at the TVHS gym in the first meeting between the teams since Valley left the Three Rivers Conference.

Valley beat Rochester for the third straight year and improved to 7-1. Rochester fell to 3-4.

Valley led wire to wire. Already leading 24-13, Valley went on an 18-0 run covering the third and fourth quarters. Petersen had 11 of her points during the run.

Rylee Clevenger’s 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds was Rochester’s only scoring in the final 10 minutes.

Rochester had only four field goals while committing 31 turnovers. Clevenger had all four of the field goals and led Rochester with 10 points. Clevenger also had all eight of the Lady Zs’ points in the second half.

Aubrey Wilson, who was coming off a career-high 15 points against Maconaquah Saturday, was held to five points. Audrey Bolinger, who scored a career-high nine in the post against Maconaquah, was held scoreless and fouled out in the third quarter. Junior wing Ella McCarter was also held scoreless.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Burrus said. “They’re a load. Miller, she’s just a gnat out front. … Her defense is just really, really good.”

Despite graduating five seniors from last year’s team that won conference, sectional and regional titles, Valley would appear to have improved defensively. They are allowing only 30.1 points per game this year after allowing 39.2 last year.

Last year, they held six opponents under 30 points; this year, they have done it four times already.

“It’s the way we’ve been playing all year,” Valley coach Chris Kindig said. “There was no reason to ramp that down tonight for sure. We felt like maybe we were a little more physical at those guard spots than Rochester. They’ve got guards that are good players, but they’re not maybe as physical as our guards. We felt like we could pressure them.”

A Miller steal and layup and a Kelsey Cox post bucket opened the scoring. Clevenger hit a 17-footer to cut the lead to 4-2, but Cox and Petersen each hit two free throws to get the lead to 8-2 after one quarter.

Carlee Snyder and Ava Smith hit 3-pointers in the second quarter as Valley built the halftime lead to 17-8.

Ava Egolf’s driving layup and a cut from the high post by Cox for a layup helped get the lead to 23-10.

Then Petersen scored Valley’s next seven points: She hit a free throw, then hit a fadeaway from the right baseline, then hit two free throws and then hit a post banker as the lead reached 30-13 after three quarters.

Ana Egolf steal and layup, a Dalynne Bussard 3-point play off a putback and a Lucy Hayden putback at the outset of the fourth made it 37-13 before a Petersen steal and layup, a Petersen free throw and a Petersen putback got the lead to 29.

“It’s all about effort,” Kindig said of Petersen, who tore her ACL in May but was cleared to play just prior to the season opener against Bremen on Nov. 2. “Every rebound was hers. She really fought for a lot of stuff. She got some offensive rebounds. We had some decent interior passing to her tonight as well. Really we went into the game with the game plan that we were going to try to get the ball in the blocks a little more. We thought with our four or five bigs or whatever that we had an advantage there and to work it inside-out. So if they’re getting double or triple-teamed, we kick it out and shoot some jump shots.”

Burrus called Petersen Valley’s “biggest spark off the bench.”

“She came out tonight, and she was on a mission,” Burrus said.

But ultimately, it was another defensive taffy pull between the teams following last season’s 26-15 Valley win. And it was worth noting that Valley sophomore point guard Gaby Gonzalez left the game in the first quarter with a right ankle injury – Kindig she injured it originally against John Glenn Saturday was not sure she would be able to go – and did not return. She was spotted leaving the gym on crutches afterwards.

“If they keep getting better, their defense is going to be just absolutely nasty by the end of the season,” Burrus said.

Meanwhile, Rochester’s 2-3 zone was tough for Valley to decipher.

“Their defense really is unique,” Kindig said. “You know, if they can get to the point to where they can score some more points, they’re good enough defensively to to win a lot of games.”

Photos from the girls basketball game at Tippecanoe Valley, the Vikings won 42-16 vs the Rochester Zebras Tuesday night. Photos Courtesy of Dee Brown


Valley 42, Rochester 16

ROCHESTER (16) (3-4)

Aubrey Wilson 0 5-5 5, Rylee Clevenger 4 0-0 10, Ella McCarter 0 0-0 0, Jadyn Field 0 1-2 1, Audrey Bolinger 0 0-0 0, Mia Howdeshell 0 0-0 0, Brailyn Hunter 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 4 6-7 16

VALLEY (42) (7-1)

Gaby Gonzalez 0 0-0 0, Chesnee Miller 1 0-0 2, Ava Smith 1 0-0 3, Ava Egolf 2 1-2 5, Kelsey Cox 2 2-2 6, Hadley Wise 0 0-0 0, Macy Petersen 5 6-8 16, Dalynne Bussard 1 1-1 3, Carlee Snyder 1 0-0 3, Lucy Hayden 2 0-2 4

TEAM: 15 10-15 42

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 2 (Clevenger 2),

Valley 2 (Snyder, Smith)

Total fouls: Rochester 13, Valley 14

Fouled out: Bolinger (RHS), :54.0, fourth

Turnovers: Rochester 31, Valley 11

Score by quarters

Rochester 2 6 5 3 – 16

Valley 8 9 13 12 – 42


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