The River Valley Wolverines played three basketball games last week - two of them Maple Valley Conference games against some pretty good teams, and the other a non-conference game against a young, rebuilding squad.
On Tuesday, the Wolverines played the Lawton-Bronson Eagles at Correctionville and in RV coach Terry Jensen's words, "The girls really wanted to play well, but it was one of those nights where the ball bounced the wrong way." Down 21-7 after one quarter, things didn't get any better the rest of the way for River Valley, as they wound up on the short end of a 77-36 score.
Emily Todd led RV in scoring with 10 points, while Kaylea Simons and Jody Peterson with eight rebounds apiece and Todd with seven, led the team on the boards.
On Thursday, the team traveled to Aurelia to take on the young Bulldog team in a non-conference tilt, and RV held 10-8, 26-17, and 42-25 leads at the quarter breaks before posting a win by a final score of 56-40.
Emily Todd and Alissa Slota each scored 13 points and Jody Peterson had 10 for River Valley, and Kaylea Simons grabbed nine rebounds to lead the team on the boards, as the Wolverines evened their season mark at 5-5.
Coach Jensen said the team "changed defenses after the slow first quarter to try and pick up intensity, and the girls responded and made several steals and moved the ball very well" in increasing their lead over the final three quarters.
On Friday, the Wolverines had the tough task of playing the state's #14-ranked 2A team after playing two games over the previous three-day period. The opponent was the Battle Creek-Ida Grove Falcons, but after falling behind by 10 at the end of the first quarter, the Wolverines played them even over the final three periods and lost by that same 10 point margin, 73-63.
Though Alissa Slota fouled out early in the fourth quarter and the team fell behind by as many as 19 points, Jensen was very proud that "the girls didn't quit. They got back to within eight inside of the last minute and lost by 10." The RV coach termed his team's effort "by far our best game of the year.
" We rebounded better," said Jensen, "(and) ball movement was good. We shot our free throws the best we have all year."
River Valley has a 5-6 overall mark and is 3-4 in Maple Valley Conference play.