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West Valley varsity hoops: boys lose, in final regular season contest

A SPECIAL GROUP — West Valley Central School honored its boys basketball and cheerleading teams’ seniors, during a recent ceremony. Pictured, front row, from left: Deeanna Welling and Morgan Green. Back row: Dylan Westfall, Cole Stanbro, Colton Myers, Mike Grigsby, Marcus Enser, Keegan Kittle and Alex Fuller. Photo courtesy of Dana Westfall.
WEST VALLEY — The West Valley Central School boys varsity basketball team took on Ellicottville for the second time, this season, on Feb. 12.

During the teams’ first meeting, in January, a tight contest ended with the Ellicottville Eagles’ coming through, with a 50 – 40 victory against West Valley.

“We played a good, overall game, minus the third quarter, obviously, and it killed us,” Coach Jason Kearney said, about the January loss to Ellicottville.

“We gave them five offensive rebounds, in the first quarter, and held them to only four, the rest of the way,” he said, “but they were getting such easy looks down low. Our wings weren’t dropping and our guys weren’t sliding over onto the blocks, quick enough. We had a string of a few minutes, where we never ran our offense and were forcing bad shots and turning the ball over, on poor pass selections.”

The Wildcats were looking to avenge that earlier loss, when they took on the Eagles again, on Feb. 12.

The end of the first quarter saw West Valley with an 11 – 8 lead, but Ellicottville stormed back. West Valley chased the Eagles for the lead, from then on, but were not successful, and Ellicottville took the win again, 56 – 45.

Kearney said that the Wildcats had a “bad shooting night,” going 18 of 72 from the field and 6 – 18, from the foul line. “Shooting 25 percent from the field isn’t going to win you many games,” he said. “I thought we rebounded the ball very well and we actually had more offensive rebounds then defensive rebounds, but we missed too many close shots and [were] forced into many bad shots, rather than being patient.”

According to the coach, West Valley’s Brandon Rockwood had one of his better games of the season and recorded a double-double.

Rockwood made 12 points and 11 rebounds, while adding three steals to his stat line. Five of his rebounds came on the offensive glass.

Colton Myers led the Wildcats in scoring, with 13 points. He also recorded eight rebounds and seven steals.

HE’LL BE MISSED — West Valley senior athlete Mike Grigsby (left) is pictured putting up a layup, during in an earlier game against Springville. Photo by Dave DeLuca.
After missing an entire overtime period during a Forestville game, Mike Grigsby fought through his injury and scored 12 points against Ellicottville, during the loss. Cole Stanbro had 2 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Dylan Westfall scored 2 points and added nine rebounds.

“It was a very intense and physical game that we just came out on the short end of,” Kearney said. “We couldn’t stop [Ellicottville’s] Cam Wilson and Phalla Mussal, who had 20 and 21 points, respectively, for them.”

The school recently honored its graduating seniors on the cheerleading and boys basketball teams.

West Valley played Panama on the Feb. 20, in the first round of the Class D playoffs.

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