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West Valley Central School varsity girls basketball completes first month of its season

WEST VALLEY — The West Valley varsity girls basketball team’s season began on Tuesday, Dec. 4, with a season-opening win in Franklinville. The Lady Wildcats battled the Lady Panthers of Franklinville what Coach John Arbogast called “a close game.”
Down by 3 points, at the half, West Valley mustered its offense, to overcome the deficit. Down by 2, senior Jessica Baker attempted to make the tying score, but was fouled, in the process, as the buzzer sounded, to end the game. “Baker coolly stepped onto an empty court and, with no time left on the clock, swished two free throws, to send the game in overtime,” Arbogast said.
In the extra frame, the road team outscored Franklinville 4 – 2 and won the game 39 – 37. Victoria Calkins led the Wildcats in scoring, with 16 points. Megan Bailey came in second, at 11.
Ten days later, the Wildcats participated in the ACE Memorial Tournament in Portville, drawing the host Portville in the first round. “Again, the Lady Wildcats found themselves in a closely-contested game, being down by 4 at the half, but battling back to tie the game at 27, at the end of the third,” Arbogast said.
For the second game in a row, West Valley had the ball, with seconds left on the clock. Arbogast called a time out, in an attempt to set up the final shot, but Portville picked off an errant pass, keeping the game tied.
After one Portland player missed a layup, another Portland player picked up the ball at the perimeter and scored the winning shot at the buzzer. “The Wildcats lost by two, 35 – 33, in a heartbreaker,” West Valley’s coach said. Bailey scored 17 points, to lead the way in the loss. Calkins tallied 10.
The following day, Dec. 15, the Wildcats played in the ACE consolation game, against Smethport, Pa. West Valley led after each quarter, including at the final buzzer, for the 29 – 23 win.
Calkins led in scoring, with 9, while Bailey and Megan Hebdon had 6 each. Bailey was selected as a member of the all-tournament team.
On Dec. 18, the girls were back on the road, against North Collins. They took an early 9 – 2 lead at the end of the first quarter. North Collins came back to cut the deficit to 4 at halftime, with an 18 – 14 score.
The Wildcats outscored the home team by a 16 – 4 margin, in the third, taking the game 43 – 22. Bailey racked up 19 points, to lead the team. The next closest was Rachael Zimmer, with 8.
West Valley came home for the first time this season, when it hosted Clymer on Dec. 21. The state champion from two years ago trailed the Wildcats by 1 points after the first quarter 13 – 12.
A 21 – 4 run in the second quarter saw the road team up on West Valley by a 33 – 17 margin, at halftime. “The Wildcats battled hard in the second half,” said the coach, as the clubs scored 13 points each, during the third quarter.
The second half effort was not enough to overcome the second quarter and the Wildcats lost 62 – 38. Bailey and Calkins scored 12 points each, to lead the team.
To close out 2012, West Valley participated in the Emerling Ford Tournament in Springville. Again, the Wildcats drew the host and were again unable to move on, losing 46 – 21. “We ended up playing catchup the whole game,” said Arbogast.
Two days later, the West Valley girls played the consolation game against West Seneca East. West Valley went up 17 – 5 during the first quarter, en route to a 52 – 17 victory. The leading scorer was Bailey, who had 19 points. Hebdon and Zimmer put up 8 each. Bailey was named to an all-tournament team for a second time, this season.
To start off the new year, the Wildcats played in Sherman on Jan. 5. Sherman took the early lead and had a 17 – 2 advantage, after one quarter.
“They were never threatened,” Arbogast said, regarding the home team. He watched his team fall to a 56 – 14 defeat. “Sherman may well be the top team in Class-D basketball,” he added.
Zimmer put up 6 points for West Valley, leading the team on that night.
The West Valley varsity girls basketball team was back in action on Jan. 8 in Ripley, before coming home on Jan. 11, to play Brocton. The girls’ next game is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 15, on the road against Ellicottville. That game will begin at 7:30 p.m.
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