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12/18/2021 11:00 PM

Valley Girls’ Hoops Off to 2-0 Start; Boys’ Co-op Hockey Squad Takes Two

Junior Lily Grow and the Valley girls’ hoops squad are off to a 2-0 start after defeating North Branford and H-K during the opening week of the 2021-’22 season.File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Girls’ Basketball

The Valley Regional girls’ basketball team played two games in the first week of the winter season and came away with a pair of victories for a 2-0 start to the year. The Warriors earned lopsided wins versus North Branford and Haddam-Killingworth during the opening week of action.

The Warriors started off their campaign by claiming a 67-29 home victory versus North Branford on Dec. 16. Valley held a 15-7 lead after the first quarter and was up 27-16 at halftime. Valley went on to outscore the Thunderbirds 23-5 in the third quarter and 17-8 in the fourth to win the game by 38 points.

Junior Lily Grow scored 21 points and had six rebounds for Valley in the victory. Fellow junior Abby Bradbury had 15 points to go with 10 steals, seven rebounds, and five assists on the night.

Junior Elizabeth Allen scored nine points and had six boards, while senior Ava Cunningham had eight points with five assists for the Warriors. Sophomore Olivia Cunningham scored six points, pulled down 14 rebounds, and also had three assists for Valley. Junior Siena Schaller scored six points, and senior Bitzy Klomp had two steals to help Head Coach Jaimie Bickelhaupt’s squad prevail.

Two days later, Valley played a road game versus Haddam-Killingworth. The Warriors defeated the Cougars by the score of 54-37 to earn their second win in as many games this year.

Valley led H-K 14-7 after the first quarter and was up 13-8 at halftime. The Warriors then outscored H-K in both the third (10-9) and fourth (17-13) quarters to pull away for the win.

Grow had 14 points with six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks for Valley. Bradbury scored 13 points to go five steals and three assists. Ava Cunningham had 10 points with six boards, four assists, and two steals for the Warriors. Olivia Cunningham scored seven points and also had eight rebounds in the win. Schaller had two steals for Valley.

Boys’ Ice Hockey

The East Haven co-op boys’ ice hockey team played two games during the first week of its season and came away with a pair of victories for a stellar start to the campaign. The Yellowjackets earned a win versus Cheshire and then defeated Staples to open up the season with a record of 2-0. The team features athletes from East Haven, Morgan, Old Saybrook, Valley Regional, Old Lyme, and East Hampton.

On Dec. 13, the East Haven co-op hockey squad opened its season by playing a road game against Cheshire at Lou Astorino Ice Arena in Hamden. The Yellowjackets defeated the Rams by the final score of 9-7 to kick off the year on a triumphant note.

Sophomore Griffin McGlinchey scored two goals to go with two assists for East Haven in the win. Senior captain Parker Sprankle and freshman Gennaro Pompano both had two goals with an assist on the night.

Senior Josh Berg and junior Nicholas Ruggiero each had a goal and an assist for the Yellowjackets. Junior Alan Schroeter and junior Dylan Ingram contributed one assist apiece. Senior goalie Ryan Sheldon made 31 saves in the win.

Then on Dec. 18, East Haven played another road game when it faced Staples at Milford Ice Pavilion. Head Coach Lou Pane’s club notched a 9-2 victory against the Wreckers to cap off a nice first week on the ice.

Girls’ Ice Hockey

The Hand-Coginchaug-Valley-Old Lyme (H-C-V-OL) girls’ ice hockey team took defeats in its first three games of the season for an early record of 0-3 on the year.

H-C-V-OL took a 3-2 home loss to West Haven-Sacred Heart Academy in its season opener at the Northford Ice Pavilion on Dec. 8. On Dec. 15, the Tigers took a 6-0 loss against Stamford-Westhill-Staples in a road game at Terry Conners Ice Rink. Two days later, the Tigers hosted Guilford and took a 6-3 defeat at Northford Ice Pavilion.