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West Valley Central boys varsity squad drops two games during Emerling Ford’s annual holiday tournament

GOING UP FOR THE JUMP SHOT — Derek Wells of West Valley tries to score against Springville-Griffith Institute, during the Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament. Photos by Dave DeLuca.

SPRINGVILLE — The West Valley boys varsity basketball team dropped both of its games, during the Emerling Ford Holiday Tournament hosted by Springville. On Dec. 27, West Valley fell to Springville 60-20.

West Valley took an early 3-2 lead, with a 3-pointer by Jared Raz, but the Wildcats could not contain Springville’s Greg Beatty, who scored 19 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers.

“We gave up a ton of offensive rebounds,” said West Valley coach Jason Kearney. “We gave up only two [offensive rebounds] in the second half, but I bet we gave up close to 15, in the first half, and they had over half of their points in the first half, off the offensive glass. We turned the ball over way too much. We just played weak. We’re playing with our heads up; our passes were bad. Just a bad game; we did not play well at all.”

OUT OF MY WAY — West Valley’s Emil Erlandson battles with an S-GI defender, on his way down the court.

West Valley struggled from the foul line, shooting just 8-17 from the stripe. A reoccurring problem for West Valley has been turnovers, Kearney noted. The Wildcats gave up 8 points directly from turnovers, in the first half alone.

“Springville’s defense is very aggressive,” said the WVCS coach. “I told our guys, ‘we have to use Springville’s aggressiveness to our advantage,’ and we weren’t able to do that. We were just too uptight, the whole game. We weren’t able to play loose and think outside the box. We weren’t able to really establish anything. Compliments [to] Springville; they play very good defense and are very aggressive.”

Patrick Enser led West Valley with 11 points, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter.

On Dec. 30, West Valley fell to Riverside, 84-33 in the consolation game of the tournament. The Wildcats, once again, had too many turnovers and allowed Riverside to score, in transition.

DRIVING HARD — West Valley’s Collin Proctor works to get past the S-GI defense, during the Emerling Ford tournament.

Riverside jumped out to a 26-7 lead, after the first quarter, and wouldn’t look back. Willie Smith led Riverside with a tournament-high 30 points, in the win.

“The turnovers continued to kill us,” said Kearney, after the Riverside loss. “The kids get too ahead of themselves. Their minds are writing checks that their bodies can’t cash. They’re trying to do things before they get control of themselves, instead of getting under control, squaring up to the bucket, getting in triple-threat position so that, whether they’re passing, shooting or dribbling, they’re under control.”

West Valley’s Collin Proctor was named to the All-Tournament. Although not the team’s leading scorer, Proctor offers intangibles to his team that can’t be understated, noted Kearney.

“He’s by far our toughest player,” the coach added.

“He never hangs his head. His rebounding and toughness is something that we haven’t had here, in a while. He was our best player, on both ends of the floor, to earn that All-Tournament team selection.”

Despite two losses during the tournament, Kearney said that he feels that his team will be more seasoned when the league schedule starts up on Jan. 6, against Franklinville.

“Our next 10 games are all league. I don’t mind playing these tough games heading into our league schedule,” said Kearney.

“Springville was very aggressive; that was the best defense we’ve faced. Riverside was very athletic and they really stretched us out.

“We were really able to work on a lot of defensive and offensive things, to get us prepared for league play, now that every game matters, from here on out.”


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