VC girls 64, GF Central 55
Friday at the HAC
GFC 23 22 — 55
VC 23 41 — 64
GFC: Angelica Medrano 12, Taylor Hammer 12, Britni Hart 11, Katarina Reller 11
VC: Dierra Diegel 21, Jessica Denholm 15, Claire Olson 11
VC girls 58, Davies 55
Saturday at the HAC
GFC 28 27 — 55
VC 27 31 — 58
GC: Kinsey Papachek 14, Alexis Bolstad 13
VC: Jessica Denholm 11, Claire Olson 10, Dierra Diegel 10
By Scott Schlaufman
As any coach would, Valley City High School girls basketball coach Jim McDaniel approached this weekend with a bit of concern.
Entering Friday night's game with Grand Forks Central, the Hi-Liners (10-3, 5-3 Eastern Dakota Conference) hadn't played a game since the Barnes County Tournament, a layoff of almost two weeks.
And even after Friday's 64-55 win, the girls had to be back at the gym less than 24 hours later to play Fargo Davies in a 58-55 win.
"You play (Friday) night and we're back in the gym by noon (Saturday,) you hope we've got enough of a turnaround conditioning-wise," McDaniel said. "I thought we looked pretty good that way."
True to form, the Hi-Liners ended a weekend of home games with the 58-55 win Saturday in a form not much different than many other wins this season. Three Hi-Liners finished with over 10 points and six of the team's seven scorers finished within four points of each other.
Simply put, every girl had her moment.
Davies opened the game with a 6-0 run and later extended the lead to 11-4.
Valley City got behind a combination of Dierra Diegel, who connected both inside and outside, Jessica Denholm and Madison Taylor to eventually tie it 11-11 with 11:25 left in the game.
Though Valley City tied it several times, the Hi-Liners never held the lead in the first half, though a 3-pointer from Megan McDaniel narrowed the gap to 28-27 at the midpoint.
The Hi-Liners took their first lead of the game to start the second half, when Taylor hit a short jumper to make it 29-28 with 17:30 left.
Valley City briefly fell behind 35-31, but mixed 3-pointers from McDaniel and post play from Dierra Diegel and Claire Olson to go up 41-37 and later 48-39 after getting input from Denholm and Taylor.
The Eagles, however, got points in the final five and a half minutes from Kinsey Papachek and Alexis Bolstad, which helped keep the game within reach.
After a layup by Mariah Olstad gave Valley City a 51-45 lead with 2:40 left, Papachek fired right back with a 3-pointer only 12 seconds later.
Olstad helped build the lead back up to 54-48 with 1:26 left, but two free throws by Bolstad made it 54-50 with 1:12.
The Eagles then got the ball back after Olson was called for traveling with 59.6 left to play, which left the game in the hands of the defense.
A missed shot by Lauren Hage was grabbed by VC's Danica Diegel, who hit two free throws after being fouled. Her first set made it 56-50 with 39.5 left to play.
Seven seconds later, she was back in the same spot after grabbing another defensive board, but missed both free throws with 32.3 seconds left.
Davies narrowed the lead on a 3-pointer by Hage. The ensuing inbounds sent Olson to the line, where she hit one of two free throws to make it 57-53.
Dierra Diegel then had two consecutive rebounds, one of which put her to the line, where she scored VC's final point of the game.
Davies finished the game with a short shot by Shelby Malmanger to make it 58-55 with one second left.
Though Jim McDaniel was pleased with the win, he was disappointed with the team's free throw shooting. The Hi-Liners finished 12-26 from the line.
"At the half, we were 4-10 from the line and it's a tight game," he said. "If we can have six or seven (made), two or three more than that, it just changes things."
Valley City was led in scoring by Denholm with 11 points, and got 10 from Olson and Dierra Diegel. McDaniel had nine points, and Taylor and Olstad had seven each.
Papachek led Davies with 14 points and Bolstad had 13.