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West Valley JV basketball ends season on a hot streak

WEST VALLEY — The West Valley Central School junior varsity boys basketball team found its rhythm, in late December. On Dec. 29, the boys participated in the Emerling Holiday Tournament and faced Gowanda, during the third place meeting. “The game featured numerous lead changes, with the Wildcats’ leading by 2 points, entering the fourth quarter,” said Coach Kristopher Fuller.

During that final period, West Valley outscored the opposition 15 – 7, to take the win and earn third place. The final score was 57 – 47. “This was the Wildcats’ signature win of the season,” Fuller said, adding, “This was a highly competitive, hard-fought win against a quality team, in Gowanda.”

Jared Ras had 18 points, behind Patrick Enser, who had 22 points. Enser’s performance earned him a spot on the all-tournament team.

On Jan. 14, West Valley’s regular season continued, with a home game against rival Ellicottville. Emil Erlandson kicked West Valley’s game off, by scoring 9 points, during the first quarter. He concluded the game with 13. Ras notched 13 points, during the second and third quarters, and Enser took over, during the fourth, scoring 14 points, despite being held to 5, heading into the final frame.

West Valley won that match by 49 – 38. The Wildcats experienced a three-game losing streak, after that game, ending the team’s playoff hopes. The boys dropped contests to Sherman, on Jan. 19; Franklinville, on Jan. 23 and Clymer, on Jan. 29.

With a 5 – 9 record, West Valley headed into Forestville on Feb. 7, looking to end its slump, and did just that, with a 48 – 45 win. “The Wildcats were leading by 10 points, both in the third and fourth quarters, and had to hold off the Hornets in the final seconds, to seal the victory,” Fuller said. Justin Summers led the way, with 14 points, including four 3-point tallies. Enser had 14 points, as well, while Erlandson scored 9 and Ras took 7.

The Wildcats were back in action on Feb. 8, when they hosted Brocton, on senior recognition night. Looking to avenge a 10-point loss, earlier this season, West Valley led 13 – 5, after one. “We dominated in all aspects of the game,” Fuller said, regarding the first quarter. West Valley went on to win 56 – 39 and improved to 7 – 9, on the season. Enser led with 20 points, followed by Ras’ 18.

In the final game of the season, the boys headed to Ellicottville on Feb. 12 and defeated this opponent, for the second time in less than a month.

The final score was 58 – 47, in a game where Enser once again led in scoring, notching 21 points. Ras added 14, including four 3-pointers, and Erlandson scored 12. At one point, West Valley led 17 – 0. The Wildcats went undefeated this year, against Ellicottville.

At the season’s close, West Valley finished with a league record of 6 – 6 and an overall mark of 8 – 9, ending with three straight wins.

Enser led the team in scoring, with 260 points, followed by Ras, who had 178. Erlandson finished in third, with 105.

Summers had 72 points, Lucas Smith earned 36, Jacob Ploetz took 22, Caleb Homan made 11, Jacob Sloand had 8, Matt Proctor had 7, Dan Colf took 7 and Caleb Gerwitz had 1.

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