Valley Center High School coach Daniel Smith wasn’t pleased with the way his girls basketball squad opened its game Friday at Goddard Eisenhower.
The visiting Hornets – ranked No. 10 in Class 5A, according to the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association – were trailing 5-1. Midway through the first quarter, Smith called for timeout and greeted his players with one question: “Are you serious?!”
Valley Center managed to right the ship and then trounced the home team 55-30.
Despite Goddard Eisenhower’s 3-3 record, Smith said he was nervous about Friday’s game because he knew the Tigers were confident. He also was worried because it was Valley Center’s first game since winter break and it was a league contest on the road, he explained.
Smith said he talked to the Hornets during that early timeout about “tightening up physically and mentally.” Whatever he said must have worked. Valley Center responded with an 18-0 run that lasted for the rest of the first quarter and into the second.
“We pushed through it and started knocking down some shots and getting some stops,” said Smith.
Valley Center led 19-5 before Goddard Eisenhower’s Rachel Lee stopped the deluge with a field goal. The Hornets added five unanswered points for a 24-7 advantage.
Goddard Eisenhower halted that streak with back-to-back buckets. Leah Nelson and Kilah Hoenscheidt each contributed a basket, but the Tigers still trailed 24-11. They entered halftime with a 16-point deficit, 27-11.
Valley Center went on to win 55-30, boosting its overall record to 6-1. Despite the Hornets’ dominance, Smith expressed concern about their performance when faced with man-to-man defense. He noted that few teams had played it against Valley Center, although Goddard Eisenhower tried it Friday. He estimated that the Hornets had not seen more than one and a half quarters of man-to-man this season, and that concerned him. He said they needed to be better at offensive efficiency against man-to-man.
“We’re going to get guarded physically and with pressure our next four to five games,” he predicted. “I know for a fact we’re not ready for that.”
Valley Center will take on Andover and Newton in its next two games. They are ranked No. 6 and No. 4, respectively, in 5A.
Meagan Williams anchored the Hornets with 17 points Friday, and Megan Barnes contributed 11.
Brynn Minor led Goddard Eisenhower with 10 points. The Tigers dropped to 3-4 on the season.