Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford was disappointed after the game, both in how the team played and in losing sophomore guard Jordan Niles, who broke her wrist in the first quarter.
“I didn’t think before the game we had the energy to beat a team like Springfield,” said Hayford. “We simply didn’t play well. We had shooting woes. Our shots were hardly hitting the rim.”
The Wildcats entered the game with a 4-1 record, while Springfield came in undefeated at 4-0. The teams played even in the first quarter, and the score was tied at 11. But it was evident Twin Valley was going to have trouble containing Springfield’s dynamic duo of point guard Chelsea McAlister and power forward Morgan Johnson.
But perhaps the biggest blow of the game came when Niles hit the floor hard near the end of the first quarter. She had stolen the ball and was attempting to drive to the rim when she was fouled by Johnson. She landed awkwardly, putting her left hand down to try and break her fall. Immediately she shouted out in pain, and play was stopped while Niles was attended to by medical personnel . She was taken to an emergency room for X-rays, and according to Hayford her wrist was broken and Niles will miss the remainder of the basketball season.
“Jordan’s lost for the year,” said Hayford expressing his concern and disappointment. Niles had been making her mark as a strong defender and good shooter during her varsity season. “She brings the energy off the bench,” he said. “Somebody will have step up in her place.”
As for the rest of the game, the injury took its toll. The Wildcats had a dismal second quarter, scoring only two points on two free throws. None of their shot attempts from the floor went in.
Springfield, meanwhile took control of the game. Johnson was big force under the boards, grabbing a number of rebounds and putting in easy baskets in the paint. She ended up with 18 points for the game.
“We didn’t have answer for her,” said Hayford.
The Wildcats also didn’t have an answer for freshman point guard McAllister, who burned the Wildcats for 13 poitns, and number of them coming off of steals that led to coast-to-coast layups.
“Despite our efforts, we couldn’t stop them,” said Hayford. We were outrebounded 42-28, they dominated the boards.”
The Wildcats were led by Abbi Molner with nine rebounds and six points. Savannah Nesbitt had 13 points and nine steals.
Hayford also cited the good play of sophomore guard Sammy Cunningham-Darrah, who finished with eight points. “Sammy played really well,” he said. “She’s going to have step up in the absence of Jordan.”
The Wildcats won’t have much time to regroup. They travel to Proctor on Wednesday to ;ay the always-tough Phantoms. The JV game starts at 5 pm. The varsity game tips off at 6:30.