WEST VALLEY —The West Valley boys and girls basketball teams are about to enter the homestretch of their respective seasons, after falling in recent games. The girls squad was swept by Franklinville in a home-and-home series with the Panthers. West Valley hosted Franklinville on Jan. 30, losing 37-16.
Kaitlyn Snayczuk led West Valley wi™th 8 points and 11 rebounds. The Wildcats were able to limit Franklinville’s scoring duo of Allyson Haskell, with 11 points, and Vanessa Pfeiffer, with 10 points, to 21 combined points.
“We just didn’t have any offense,” said West Valley coach John Arbogast. “We just didn’t hit. I don’t know the reason for it. One night, we score 16 points, two nights later, we score 58. I don’t know why.”
On Feb. 1, West Valley traveled to Franklinville for a rematch and lost 82-58. The Panthers’ Pfeiffer erupted for 33 points, including 9 3-pointers, at 9-of-11, shooting 78 percent from the field.
“For her, it was a great shooting performance,” said Arbogast, of Pfeiffer. “You can’t say anything bad about it. She was on fire and hats off to her. It was quite a shooting display.”
Snayczuk led West Valley with 19 points and nine rebounds, despite being limited due to foul trouble. EmmaLea Erlandson was close behind, with 16 points, and Trisha Thomas had 9 points.
West Valley hosted North Collins on Feb. 5 and will travel to Ellicottville on Feb. 10. The Wildcats beat Ellicottville 40-38 in the teams’ first meeting, and will look to make it a season sweep over their rival.
“We just have to get back to keeping that focus and intensity,” said Arbogast. “We have a good chance to knock Ellicottville off again. It’s going to be an exciting game. Anytime you go down there, for West Valley-Ellicottville, especially when you’re both competitive, that gym gets rocking.”
On the boys side, West Valley was tripped up by Franklinville 70-55, on Jan. 31. The Wildcats couldn’t contain Franklinville’s trio of scorers: Collin Seamans had 25 points and canned 5 3-pointers, Jordan Milks scored 20 points and Ben Erickson had 15 points.
“We started in man-to-man, to try to really stay tight on them,” said West Valley coach Jason Kearney. “They have those three scorers in Seamans, Milks and Erickson and I didn’t want to give them any breathing room. We tried man to really close the gap down and try to deny passes and have a hand in their face, but it didn’t seem to matter.”
West Valley was paced by Derek Wells, who scored a season-high 16 points, dished out six assists and had six steals.
“He’s really been stepping up as the team leader and I’ve stressed to him that we need him to score, if we want to be successful,” the coach said.
“He didn’t have a lot of confidence, but now, he’s seeing that he can score. He’s doing it without taking a lot of shots, too. His shooting percentage has been good of late, around 50 percent from the field. He’s doesn’t force too many shots. All around, he’s been playing phenomenal.”
West Valley returned to action on Feb. 3, and the Wildcats fell to Pine Valley 53-46. Wells drilled a 3-pointer in the third quarter, to bring West Valley within 1 point, but the team just couldn’t break through in the fourth and Pine Valley would prevail.
The Wildcats lost to Pine Valley 65-23, earlier in the season, but made a turnaround in the second meeting, nearly pulling off the win.
“We finally put a full four quarters together,” said Kearney, despite the loss.
“The best term I can use to describe it was the kids showed some moxie. They really bought into what we’re trying to do. In the first game, we allowed Pine Valley’s pressure to get to us. The second time, we didn’t panic and the kids played really well.”
Patrick Enser led West Valley with 16 points. Emil Erlandson had 12 and Wells had 10, while adding four assists.
West Valley hosted North Collins on Feb. 7 before hosting rival Ellicottville on Feb. 11.