By Brad Morris
ASHVILLE — Trevor Younkin could imagine the reaction of some Teays Valley basketball fans when he added a game against defending Division I regional champion Newark to the schedule earlier this month.
“I imagine some people were wondering what the heck I was doing,” the Teays Valley coach said? “That’s a game you schedule for developmental purposes, because I knew the quality of team that Newark has and how they would defend us.
“We had worked a lot on inside-out offense, but I knew Newark wouldn’t allow us to do that and they would make us run our offense away from the three-point line.”
While the Vikings were soundly defeated 66-29 last week by the Wildcats, Younkin believes the lessons learned from that defeat paved the way on Monday for a 41-40 win over visiting Hilliard Bradley in non-league action.
“We’ve had four immaculate practices since our loss to Newark and the girls have been working on moving more away from the basketball, setting screens and running our offense around the three-point line to compliment our inside-out game,” Younkin said. “If we didn’t play Newark last week and learn those lessons, I know we couldn’t have won (on Monday night) against Bradley.”
Senior guard Megan Bush turned in a perfect night — at least offensively — by making all eight of her shots, with seven of those coming from three-point range, to lead all scorers with 23 points. Junior Ashley DeWeese contributed seven rebounds and five assists to go with her five points, and freshman Kennedy Younkin tallied five points, four assists and six rebounds.
“Megan Bush was a big reason when we wanted to run a lot of inside-out offense, because she has a great percentage when she can stand and shoot the three,” Younkin said. “She really had her shot working and then we also received some contributions from our other players.
“We knew Bradley would guard Ashley DeWeese pretty hard, but she’s a team player and is fine if she isn’t scoring a bunch of points. She created some of those shots for Megan and our other players with her passing, she rebounded and did a lot of things for us.”
The Vikings (4-4) took their biggest lead of the game thanks to a 13-2 run that closed the third quarter and began the final stanza of play.
Megan Bush hit a pair of three-pointers from the top of the key to ignite the surge and then Jenna Horsley took a feed from DeWeese and canned a three from the left corner to put the Vikings ahead 36-32 going into the fourth quarter.
DeWeese fed Younkin for a basket from the right block to open the fourth quarter and Bush closed the run by driving the left baseline and hitting a 10-foot jumper to make it 40-32.
“We moved well on the court during that run, we set some nice screens and we also swung the ball around the perimeter some for a couple of shots,” Younkin said.
The Vikings were held to just a free throw from DeWeese over the final 4:49 and committed four turnovers.
“We don’t have a lot of experience of playing ahead in a close game and we were trying to run some clock there,” Younkin said. “There were times when we executed draining some time off the clock and getting to the line and then there were a few times where we threw the ball away.
“That’s something we’ll continue to work on going forward.”
Hilliard Bradley closed to within 41-40 on a basket from Carly Callahan with 31.8 seconds left and later had the ball for the final shot, following a TV turnover with 11 seconds.
The Jaguars worked for a turnaround layup, but the shot didn’t fall as the buzzer sounded.
“It wasn’t a perfect ending, but I’m pleased with how hard our girls worked and they were able to do enough to earn the win,” Younkin said.
Macy Chapman and Chloe Callahan scored 11 points apiece to pace the Jaguars (1-1).
Teays Valley held a 23-19 advantage on the glass, but had 18 turnovers compared to 14 for Hilliard Bradley.
The Vikings are off until Dec. 29 when they host Jonathan Alder, a defending Division II district champion. The matchup was originally part of the annual Jeff Sheets Holiday Classic that was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ll have a couple of good practices and then give our girls three days off for Christmas,” Younkin said. “Then we’ll come back and get after it again, because Alder is one of the top Division II teams in the Central District.
“That’ll be another good test for our girls.”
Teays Valley 41,
Hilliard Bradley 40
HILLIARD BRADLEY — Macy Chapman 5-1-11, Carly Callahan 2-0-5, Chloe Callahan 4-2-11, Tori McClelland 2-2-6, Leiaha Dennison 2-3-7. Three-point goals — Carly Callahan and Chloe Callahan Total — 15-41 8-12 40.
TEAYS VALLEY — Aimee Watson 0-2-2, Jenna Horsley 1-0-3, Kennedy Younkin 2-1-5, Ashley DeWeese 1-2-5, Megan Bush 8-0-23, Alyssa Horsley 1-0-3. Three-point goals — Megan Bush (7), Jenna Horsley, Ashley DeWeese and Alyssa Horsley. Total — 13-33 5-11 41.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Hil. Bradley 13 6 13 8 40
Teays Valley 13 6 17 5 41
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