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ANNA — The Sesser-Valier/Waltonville girls basketball machine continued to roll Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Anna-Jonesboro Class 2A regional semifinals.

The Red Devils amassed 31 points in the first quarter and cruised to an 81-23 victory over Chester.

SVW improved to 26-1 overall this season.

“We definitely came in here focused tonight, and we’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a while,” said SVW coach Rick Metcalf. “One through 15 were all zeroed in tonight. That was obvious no matter who we put in the game. They did their job and did it well.”

Jaylin Haley fed Hannah Garascia for a basket in the paint, and the Red Devils grabbed a 12-2 lead just three minutes into the game.

Paige Tucker, Brooke Wilderman, and Taylor Frank each scored baskets to finish off a 13-0 SVW run, which put the Red Devils up 21-2 at the 2:30 mark of the first quarter.

Carlee Weir stopped the scoring drought for Chester with a basket, but SVW seemed like it could do anything it wanted in this contest.

The Red Devils stormed the passing lanes and picked off passes at will. SVW was firing on all cylinders during this game.

“These girls have been playing together for four years, and they’re 42-0 in conference games,” Metcalf said. “They don’t know anything but success. They work hard, and that’s all you can ask for. Even the freshmen came in and did a really good job.”

Despite playing reserves for the most part, SVW nearly held Chester scoreless in the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets reached the scoreboard with less than a minute to go in the third period.

“At one time, we had four freshmen out there, and that made me feel pretty good,” Metcalf said. “We held our own with our young kids, and that’s something to build on.”

Garascia led SVW with 21 points, and Haley added 20. Weir paced Chester with 10 points.

Anna-Jonesboro defeated Vienna, 48-36 in the second game. Anna-Jonesboro played SVW pretty tough in a 51-42 loss in late January.

The teams meet up for the regional championship at 7 p.m. today.


On Twitter: @SIprepsports


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