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Timberwolves exceed expectations with win

Southwest Valley's Marah Larsen (middle) pulls up over East Union defenders taking advantage of her height.
Southwest Valley's Marah Larsen (middle) pulls up over East Union defenders taking advantage of her height.

CORNING – The Southwest Valley girls routed East Union by 30 points Thursday night, with a 67-37 victory.

The Timberwolves evened their record to 7-7 while East Union fell to 4-10 on the season.

Southwest Valley used its press defense throughout the night to hold the Eagles’ offense at bay and create turnovers.

“It’s something we’ve been trying to work on. We’ve been getting better at press,” said Southwest Valley head coach Michael Webb. “We’ve been trying to press all year, but we’re starting to find more of an understanding of how we want to press. ... We’re starting to get so much better in our press. Our girls are understanding it, so it’s nice to see.”

With the defense making things difficult for East Union, the Timberwolves took an early 23-13 lead in the first quarter. Things began to snowball against the Eagles in the second quarter, allowing a 12-2 run to begin the quarter before calling a timeout at 3:45 to stop the bleeding.

Southwest Valley’s Jentry Schafer and Marah Larsen used their length in the post to create second-chance points from offensive rebounds for the Timberwolves during the run. The extra opportunities allowed SWV to control the tempo while having multiple opportunities on offense.

“The length makes it easy. Jentry being 6-1, she called me short this summer, so it helps a ton,” said Webb. “Offensive rebounds, with shots, she can shoot over most girls that we play against, so it was nice to finally see her be really aggressive like we need her to be.”

East Union ran the floor with a quick pace, putting up shots from beyond the arc early in their possession, but struggled to knock any down. The Eagles scored five points in the second quarter to go into halftime trailing 44-18.

Starting the second half, the Timberwolves’ scoring slowed, but continued to roll with the East Union defense struggling to get past the SWV height advantage.

“They were doing a 1-3-1 zone, so a lot of times with them bringing that three up the middle, we were having good opportunities to get the rebound,” Webb said.

The Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter, getting in the bonus and scoring 5 of 13 points from the free-throw line.

With the fouls starting to mount and the game out of reach for East Union, the Timberwolves put in the reserves for the remainder of the game.

Schafer and Larsen combined for 32 points, 19 and 13, respectively. Rylee Jacobs put up 11 points of her own, knocking down three 3-pointers.

East Union’s offense had seven contributors in the lineup. Kaylin Lack led the team with 15 points. Noelle McKnight scored six and Mallory Raney put up five for the top-3 scorers.

Coming into the game, limiting fouls was a goal the Timberwolves set, but struggled late to follow through in the second half.

“One thing we were trying to do tonight that we didn’t succeed was not be in the bonus for a half,” said Webb. “We didn’t get it, and we’re still at times, not moving our feet and reach.”

Falling short of the expectation was only a blip on the win for Webb.

“It was a nice win. Hopefully it’s a booster because our record now is 7-7, but I haven’t judged any of our games off of wins or losses,” said Webb. “It’s off of what our expectations are, and I think we met and exceeded the expectations tonight a little bit.”

UP NEXT – Southwest Valley faces ACGC at 6 p.m. in a home game Monday. East Union hosts Wayne Tuesday with a 6 p.m. start.

Southwest Valley 67, East Union 37

EU (37) — 13 5 6 13

SWV (57) — 23 21 15 8

EAST UNION (FG FT PTS) — Totals —14 8-16 37. Kaylin Lack 6 3-8 15, Noelle McKnight 2 1-2 6, Mallory Raney 1 3-3 5, Chloe Kerrigan 2 0-1 4, Jessica Kelley 2 0-0 4, Karah Krikland 1 0-0 2, Ali Neismier 0 1-2 1. 3-point goals — 1 (McKnight). Team fouls — 16. Fouled out — None.

SOUTHWEST VALLEY (FG FT PTS) — Totals —25 11-17 67. Jentry Schafer 9 1-4 19, Marah Larsen 6 1-2 13, Rylee Jacobs 3 2-2 11, Makayla Houck 2 6-6 10, Norah Lund 2 1-2 6, Maggie Haer 1 0-0 3, Abbie Wetzel 1 0-0 3, Jillian Simmons 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 6 (Jacobs 3, Haer 1, Lund 1, Wetzel 1). Team fouls — 20. Fouled out — Simmons.

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