February 26th, 2019

Sacred Heart Rolls Past Ballard 72-31

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 

Sacred Heart Rolls Past Ballard 72-31
SHA defeated Ballard 72-31/ photo by Jeff Woods

Sacred Heart used a 24-2 first-half run to put away Ballard in the first round of the Seventh Region tournament 72-31 Tuesday night. The Valkyries face Male in the semifinals Friday night at Bellarmine.

“We were a little timid at first, but then we got going,” said Sacred Heart head coach Donna Moir. “I’m proud of them. We hit big shots, and we played relaxed. We did not underestimate Ballard at all because they beat a good CAL team, and I have the utmost respect for them. Survive and advance, right?”
The Valkyries and Bruins traded the lead four times in the first quarter. Kristen Clemons’ layup gave Sacred Heart the lead for good at 11-10. The Valkyries dominated from that point on, holding Ballard to two buckets in more than ten minutes of play. Sacred Heart outscored the Bruins 26-5 in the second quarter and held a commanding 45-17 lead at halftime.
“I thought we did well scoring in transition,” said Moir. “We scored one time and didn’t even put the ball on the floor. We hit a diagonal pass and hit Josie (Gilvin) right there. I thought we got a running game going and scored some easy baskets in transition.”
Four Valkyries scored in double figures, led by Clemons and Destinee Marshall, who both finished with 13 points. Senior Ashlee Harris, playing her final home game at Sacred Heart, scored ten points and also had seven assists. And freshman Alex Wolff played one of her best games of the season. Her night ended with 12 points and seven rebounds.
“We’ve been on her,” said Moir. “Alex can play. We’ve been on her about rebounding. She made a couple of really good moves and made her free throws. She has a lot of potential, and can play like that every night.”
The Valkyries took a 52-17 lead with 6:07 to play in the third quarter, which triggered the running clock. With such a big advantage, the Valkyries were able to rest their starters for much of the second half. Moir believes the rest could be a big help as the team continues through the postseason.
“We have a lot of kids that play a lot of minutes,” she said. “If I can rest them I’m going to rest them. It was good for us. It was good to give our younger kids some minutes. I didn’t have any more to sub. It was good that I could play everybody. It helps to go into practice because they are always the scout team and it just gives them a lift.”
For Ballard (11-17), Claire Simmons finished with a team-high 13 points. The Bruins only lose two seniors and should bring the core of their team back next season.
“We still have a lot to learn and grow as a team,” said Ballard head coach Carl White. “I’m proud of how far we’ve come, but we have a long way to go if we want to compete at this level.
“I feel good with what we have coming back. But again, we’re still a long way from where we want to go. And it’s going to be up to those juniors. We just challenged them to have a good summer and be prepared to get back to the region and accomplish some other goals.”

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