February 22nd, 2011

Valkyries Tip Off Postseason With Big Win

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Valkyries Tip Off Postseason With Big Win
photo by Chris Jung

Peabody leads Sacred Heart past Waggener 72-21

Even with a 49-point lead and less than ten seconds to go in the game, the Sacred Heart Academy basketball players on the bench were still on the edge of their seats.

With senior Katie Bishop being the lone Valkyrie who hadn't scored a point during Tuesday's 72-21 district semifinal win over Waggener, her teammates were practically begging for the senior guard to put down a shot.

And after a trio of 3-point attempts bounced off the rim a couple of possessions before, Bishop finally found daylight, drove to the basket and drew a foul with 7.2 seconds remaining in the game.

She went on to sink both free throws, became the 12th of 12 SHA players to score at least two points in the game, and put an exclamation point on a statement game for the Valkyries that put Head Coach Donna Moir's team in the 27th District Tournament finals on Thursday night.

"We scored 31 points (tonight) in the first quarter, which is really good. Our ball movement and the way we ran the floor was awesome, and it was a great night," said Moir. "It's nice when everyone scores. We got the chance to play some kids. And hopefully we can build on that."

Those 31 points in the opening period, and the 41 that followed during the following three quarters, were the product of Waggener turnovers, as SHA turned 42 Wildcat turnovers into 53 points.

"We took advantage of it," said Moir. "I thought we did a nice job on the backboards and I think in the first quarter we shot nothing but layups."

The Valkyries opened the game on a 10-0 run and led 31-6 after the first quarter, following a hot streak of shooting by senior Maddie Peabody. She finished with nine points to lead SHA in the opening quarter. Waggener got its six points off a pair of banked-in 3-pointers at the 5:23 and :46 marks.

Moir went quickly to her bench, as most of the starters began the second period on the bench. The Valkyries only managed eight points in the period but still took a 39-11 lead to the locker room at halftime.

Waggener didn't score its first points of the second half until a layup by its leading scorer, Ashley Palmer, with 54.6 seconds to go in the third quarter. That bucket cut the SHA lead to 56-13. Palmer led her team with 8 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocked shots, and 14 turnovers in the losing effort.

The Sacred Heart bench was given ample minutes in the second half and outscored the Waggener bench 25-8 during the game, including eight, fourth-quarter points by junior Erica Walsh in the final period and four points, nine rebounds, and four blocked shots for junior Jazmin Smith in the game.

Peabody led all scorers with 17 points and had nine steals, which was one short of tying the school record for swipes in a single game. Peabody was 8-of-13 from the field, pulled down three rebounds and also dished three assists. Her fellow seniors Monica McGreal (11), Morgan Clemons (9), and Annamarie Campbell (6) combined for 26 points and seven rebounds in just about 35 total minutes of total action.

Waggener did have seven blocked shots and relatively held its own in the rebounding department (41-37 SHA), but the Valkyries had 29 field goal conversions, opposed to just 36 total field goal attempts for the Wildcats.

The win was SHA's sixth in its past seven games and puts the Valkyries in the 27th District Championship on Thursday against Ballard. Sacred Heart defeated the Bruins 57-45 back on Dec. 15.


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