Following a week off the Galion Tigers girls basketball team took the floor against the River Valley Vikings and the outcome was less than expected.
The Vikings handed the Lady Tigers their first loss of the season, 75-33. River Valley was 1-2 entering the contest with losses to Wynford and North Union and a win over Bishop Hartley.
River Valley used an aggressive defense to pressure the ball at both ends of the floor and force the Tigers into numerous turnovers, which the Vikings converted into points.
The Tigers were unable to take advantage of any scoring opportunities in the paint or on the perimeter. Galion never led in the contest.
River Valley opened with a 22-4 first quarter lead and scored 28 second quarter points.
They went into the locker room at halftime up 50-11.
With the second half still to play Coach Vukovich looked to motivate the team “In a game like this all you can emphasize is effort, we needed to come out and we need to increase our effort level to the level we know we can play at.”
Galion showed that effort as they played the Vikings even in the third quarter, each team scored 11 points. However, they were still down 39 points in the contest.
The fourth quarter was more of the same; River Valley used its entire bench in the game, with 10 of 12 players scoring. The Vikings were led by seniors Elle Hempstead and Kendall Stuckman, each with 13 points. Stuckman scored her 1000 career point on a free throw in the third quarter and received a nice hand from the crowd.
Taylor Valentine led Galion with 14 points, Lauren Huggins added six and Jamie Ehrman had four.
Galion had not played in over a week and the inactivity may have impacted their play.
“The layoff had little effect,” Vukovich said. “…very small, you could tell in the beginning of the game we had no intensity or enthusiasm…(but) if we make our layups it’s a completely different ballgame.”
Looking for positives in the defeat, Vukovich added “It’s a learning experience; all we can take from it is that we’re still 3-1 and the season’s not over. Getting this out of their heads and learning from it is the biggest thing.”
How does Galion look to rebound from the loss?
“We’ll come back and practice tomorrow and act like it’s another day, the sun will come up.” Vukovich said.
Galion hosts Fairbanks on Dec. 4.