The Valley City High School girls basketball team had a tough start in Friday’s 44-43 home win against Wahpeton.
Heading into halftime, the team trailed 21-18, but only one player, Jenna Jacob, had more than three points.
But in a game of momentum, it was the end that mattered.
In the final ten and a half minutes, the Hi-Liners found a rhythm offensively and kept the Huskies from getting easy points to finish with the lead.
“It was one of those games where we finally got ahead at the right time,” said Valley City coach Jim McDaniel, who changed up the offense twice before his team got into rhythm at the end.
“The last offense that we were doing seemed to work the best for us,” he said. “We were more active, more aggressive.”
In the final ten and a half, the Hi-Liners went on an 18-6 run.
It started with 37-26 deficit for the team, which was narrowed when Dierra Diegel hit a 3-pointer with 10:30 left to make it 27-29.
By the 8:40 mark, Allyson Suhr, who was scoreless in the first half, added two layups and Megan McDaniel put in another with 7:50 to make it 37-35.
Wahpeton then scored four of the next eight points and held a 41-39 lead with 4:30 left.
The Hi-Liners eventually took the lead on a 3-pointer by McDaniel with three minutes left. McDaniel hit a final two-pointer with 1:56 left to score Valley’s final points of the game and take a 44-41 lead.
Wahpeton’s last points came on free throws by sophomore guard Lachelle Bumgarner with 1:38 left.
Both teams had chances at free throws late, but missed, and the Valley City defense kept Wahpeton from scoring inside the paint on multiple chances.
Early in the game though, the Hi-Liners’ offensive pace was set by Jacob, who had led the team with 15 points and scored the first nine points of the game to give the Hi-Liners an early 9-6 lead.
Many of the points she scored were the result of a tight defense that caused turnovers and gave her the ball as she streaked down the court.
“It felt good to finally just go out and let loose,” Jacob said. “It felt good to run fast and put it in. Once you get going, you just don’t want to quit.”
It was the second close game the team won during the week and followed an overtime win at Maple Valley Tuesday.
Jim McDaniel said it’s good to see his team coming out on the better end of the close ones.
“It’s good for us to win some tight ones,” he said. “Years back we’d seem to play really good and then at the end, things would fall apart and we’d lose these tight ones, where now we’ve got a couple of tight ones and we’ve finished on top.”
The Valley City girls lost 60-54 to St. Mary’s Central in Bismarck Saturday.
VCHS boys lose two
The Valley City High School boys team kept it close, but lost weekend games in Wahpeton and Bismarck.
The boys lost 56-52 Friday in overtime at Wahpeton after leading at halftime. They then lost 65-62 at St. Mary’s Central Saturday in Bismarck.
The Hi-Liners are now on a seven game losing streak and will play at home tomorrow against West Fargo.