VIENNA — The 10th ranked Sesser-Valier-Waltonville Lady Red Devils withstood a third quarter rally by Vienna to hold of the Lady Eagles, 64-57, and remain undefeated in a Black Diamond West girls basketball showdown on Thursday.
"We were wondering how we would play, getting ranked 10th in the state last night, and it didn’t go to our heads," said Sesser-Valier-Waltonville coach Rick Metcalf. "It was a good win for us to come down here to a hostile environment."
Sesser-Valier-Waltonville improved to 16-0 overall and 7-0 in the conference while Vienna dropped to 10-7 and 4-3 in the standings.
Paige Tucker came off the bench to lead the Lady Red Devils with 18 points, with Brooke Wildeman adding 15 and Jaice McCowen 14. Lindsey Holhubner led Vienna with 18 points.
"We got into foul trouble, but we had people come off the bench who played awesome," Metcalf said. "Paige Tucker came off the bench and played real well, but most notably, Jaycee Garner came off and gave us valuable minutes at the center spot. We played nine people continuously throughout the game, so it was a total team victory."
Vienna led 5-3 early on a 3-pointer by Maddie Penrod, but Wilderman got the Lady Red Devils started with a putback followed by a 3-pointer to start an 11-5 run. Two 3-pointers by McCowen gave Sesser-Valier-Waltonville a 14-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
"I like the way we came out in our offense and we were hitting the threes early, and that got us going," Metcalf said. "They are huge compared to us, but we went man with our smaller lineup and that gave them some fits."
Wilderman opened the second quarter with her second 3-pointer to start a 16-7 run, as the Lady Red Devils jumped out to a 13-point lead with 1:09 remaining. Madisen Pearman hit a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to cut the lead to eight at the half.
The Lady Eagles came out of the locker room on fire, starting with Addison Bent drawing a foul and making both her free throws to start a 16-7 run to take the lead, 40-39, on a layup by Alyssa Jones with 1:02 remaining in the quarter.
"We did the same thing at their place and they beat us, 42-40, and that just happened to be the score at the end of the third quarter, and I thought it was an omen one way or the other — and as it turned out it was not in our favor," said Vienna coach Jamie Kerley. "They handled the ball well and didn’t turn it over, while we turned it over and missed layups and free throws. They were 6-for-11 from the three in the first half and when you have a high school girls team shooting over 50 percent from the three, you’ve got something. There is a reason why they are ranked."
However, McCowen sank a 3-pointer with six seconds left to regain the lead for the Lady Red Devils heading in the final frame.
The Lady Red Devils kept their momentum alive, jumping out to a seven-point lead in the first 1:44 on a layup by McCowen and a three-point play by Paige Tucker, who was fouled pulling down an offensive rebound and then made the free throw.
Sesser-Valier-Waltonville extended its lead to eight on a 3-pointer by Wilderman with 4:27 remaining, and led by nine with 2:12 left when the Lady Eagles started to foul as the Lady Red Devils began slowing play. Sesser-Valier-Waltonville made 9-of-14 from the line to seal the win.