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Valiants muscle past scrappy Falcons 50-40

The Valiants force 37 turnovers and hold on to win 50-40 on Monday
by: Miles Vance IN TRAFFIC — Valley Catholic freshman Kaylynn Bush loses the ball while sandwiched between La Salle’s Andrea Novak (left) and Makenzie Cook on Monday.

BEAVERTON - Winning, even when you have to win ugly, is always better than losing.

Valley Catholic's girls basketball team admitted as much on Monday night after posting a sloppy, scrappy, and yes - ugly - 50-40 non-league win over La Salle at Valley Catholic High School.

The win lifted Valley Catholic's early-season record to 2-0, while La Salle - a Class 4A school that plays in the Tri-Valley Conference - fell to 2-1.

'It was kind of like football,' said Valley Catholic senior guard Katie Ford, who finished with 10 points. 'I think at the beginning of the fourth quarter, we struggled a little bit, but then we decided not to give up and we kept hustling. We wanted a win more than anything.'

'La Salle, they're just a rough team,' added Valiant junior Chelsea Alsdorf, who had just four points Monday but added five assists and four steals. 'But we need to finish our runs and keep pushing and not wait until the third quarter to start playing.'

Indeed, La Salle led 13-12 at the end of the first quarter thanks to four points from Sterling Swift and two late foul shots by Allison Carlson, while Valley Catholic stayed

close behind four points from senior post Rebecca Baglai.

But Valley Catholic turned up the intensity of its defense in the second quarter, held the Falcons to 1-of-7 shooting, forced 13 La Salle turnovers and allowed just three points in the quarter.

The Valiants didn't exactly shoot the lights out in that period, going 4-of-18 from the floor and 2-of-7 at the free throw line, but got a three-pointer from Ford and baskets from Baglai, Kim Duyck and Kaylynn Bush to pull ahead 23-16 at the half.

Valley Catholic then put together its best offensive quarter of the game in the third. The Valiants hit seven of their first 12 shots from the field to push ahead 37-22 when Bush scored from the left baseline on a pass from Alsdorf with 2 minutes, 13 seconds left in the quarter. Bush and Baglai both hit twice from the floor in the third for VC.

'I think we were hustling a lot and running the floor really well,' Ford said of her team's third-quarter push. 'And we were really composed as a team. We had more energy and were really

intense.'

'During the third quarter, we started running the ball finally and pushing it, which is our style of play,' Alsdorf said.

La Salle didn't quit, though. The Falcons played some tough defense of their own, forced seven Valley Catholic turnovers in the frame, and finally began to hit some shots. Swift drilled a three-pointer and hit another shot from the floor, while teammates Makenzie Cook and Natalie Schlechter hit twice each.

Their efforts helped La Salle cut VC's lead as low as five points, when Cook hit a left-handed shot in the lane to make it 43-38 with 2:19 left on the clock. But the Valiants got four straight free throws from Ford in the final 1:44, one from Baglai and two from Lindsie LaBonte to hang on and win.

'We've been practicing free throws a lot in practice and our teams doing really well with them,' Ford said.

Baglai led VC with 11 points, Ford added 10 and Bush eight in the win. Cook led La Salle with 12 points while Swift had nine and Novak eight in the loss.

In upcoming games, Valley Catholic plays at Sheridan at 6 p.m. tonight (Thursday), hosts Portland Christian at 6 p.m. Saturday, then plays at Corbett at 6 p.m. Tuesday.