No. 5 Valley routs MHS girls, 80-44

WEST DES MOINES – West Des Moines Valley scored 38 points in the opening quarter and the Class 5A No. 5 Tigers dashed past Marshalltown, 80-44, in Tuesday’s Central Iowa Conference girls’ basketball game.

Valley pressured the Bobcats into countless turnovers in the early going and seemed to convert each of them on the offensive end, erupting for a 38-14 lead after the opening frame.

A 23-14 second-quarter edge made it 59-28 Tigers at the break.

“Literally they just did not miss,” said MHS first-year coach Stacy O’Hare. “We played OK, they just had an answer for everything we did.”

Valley (4-0) buried nine 3-pointers and shot 15-for-16 from the free-throw line, getting four players into double-digit scoring. Grace Vander Weide had a game-high 22 points, netting three triples and going 5-for-5 at the line.

“Vander Weide, she’s phenomenal, and their point guard (Madi Agey) runs the show out there,” O’Hare said. “She gets to the middle of the floor, gets the defense broken down and gets the ball to the open shooter. I was extremely impressed by her.”

Hannah Fuller also had three treys on her way to 15 points, while Emily Smith had a season-high 14 points and Courtney Carr added 11 points.

“They move the ball as well as anyone I’ve seen offensively,” O’Hare said. “They really make the defense work.”

O’Hare still found the bright spots despite her team’s lopsided defeat.

“They came at us with a lot of pressure and I thought we handled the full-court press,” she said. “We turned it over more in the half court. We didn’t respond enough as far as back-door cuts.

“When we got shots, we shot the ball well tonight. We just had too many turnovers.”

Sam Hughes and Rachel Blagg led the Bobcats with seven points apiece, while Ellyn Boland, Tabby Steffensen and Emily Rebik each chipped in six points. Kyra Hungerford added five points and Molly Major made all four of her free-throw attempts for four points.

“Unfortunately for Sam she picked up two fouls right away in the first quarter and she never really got into the flow of the game,” said O’Hare. “Our kids responded in some ways but we didn’t respond to Valley’s overplaying of passing lanes. We weren’t looking to go back door, we didn’t take advantage of back-door cuts.”

The Bobcats were limited to just two points in the third quarter, but Valley managed just six in the frame.

Marshalltown will play its third straight road game on Friday night, visiting Fort Dodge for the CIC Northern Division opener for both teams. Fort Dodge (3-1) is coming off a win over 5A No. 8 Sioux City West.

“Any team we step out onto the floor against, we’re going to have to be ready,” O’Hare added. “Right now we just need to work on the things we’re doing. The kids are slowly starting to learn their roles.

“Fort Dodge is coming off a big win against a rated team so they’re going to have a lot of momentum and confidence, so we’ve got to be ready to go and play.”