January 19th, 2020

Valkyries Roll Past Rockets


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

Valkyries Roll Past Rockets
Sacred Heart soars past rivals Assumption/ photo by Ed Peak

If No. 1 Sacred Heart can play any better than they did Sunday night, they are going to be tough to beat.

The host Valkyries rolled to an impressive 71-49 win over rival Assumption before a standing room only crowd.

Behind a career high 31 points from senior guard Erin Toller, a University of Kentucky commit who made 11 of 18 shots from the field including seven of 13 three pointer shots.


"I didn't think I was going to have that good of a shooting game," said Toller who averages 17 points a game. "I thought after the first or second shot it was like lights out. Time to roll."


Roll they did. Sacred Heart led 21-4 after the first quarter and 38-19 at halftime. The Valkyries made 16 of 26 first half shots from the field for 61.5 percent, out rebounded the Rockets 19-9 and had only three turnovers.


"Sacred Heart is all that," said Assumption coach Stacy Pendleton. "If you make any kind of a defensive mistake they'll nail a three or go to (Kristen) Clemons in the post. They are just a really, really tough matchup."


Sacred Heart led 61-35 after three quarters and 66-36 early in the fourth. Senior guard Destinee Marshall added 18 points and had four assist. Clemsons had eight points and eight rebounds. 


The Valkyries finished making 58.1 percent from the field (25 of 43). Sacred Heart made nine of 20 three point shots and out rebounded Assumption 26-15. It had only five turnovers. 

Asked if her team could play better a smiling Sacred Heart coach Donna Moir said, yes. "We were missing one of our starters (freshman Triniti Ralston). Yes, I think we can. We are just starting to get into gear. We can play better. But we played well tonight."


If that's the case look out. Sacred Heart doesn't seemed phased by its high ranking or preseason expectations.


"Our kids, we try to keep them humble," said Moir. "We keep them with what's at hand. We don't try not to get ahead of ourselves at all. We love playing together."


Payton Cronen led Assumption (12-7) with 17 points while Reese Sexton added 13. After a poor shooting first half (six of 21) 28.6 percent from the field the Rockets were six of 11 for 54.5 percent in the second half.


"Sacred Heart plays really aggressive on defense," said Pendleton. "They just pushed us out of the way. We dug too much of a hole."


Even with the loss Pendleton was pleased with Cronen. 


"Payton played really well all around. She dug in and played decent defense. She got several shots off screen screens and Reese has been shooting well.


"We didn't get anything easy. I give Sacred Heart all the credit on that. Their defense was tough and we weren't."


And what about Toller's performance? "It was like a shooting drill for her because she was open so much," said Pendelton.


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