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01/05/2022 11:00 PM

Warriors’ Girls’ Hoops Continues its Winning Ways

Junior Abby Bradbury poured home 20 points when Valley girls’ hoops claimed a 63-54 victory versus Granby to bump its record to 4-0 on the year. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

After winning their first two games of the season, Valley Regional girls’ basketball had a pair of home games on for week two. The Warriors won both, continuing their undefeated season at 4-0.

On Dec. 21, Valley defeated East Hampton 41-28. They next took on Granby and took down the Bears 63-54.

Heading into their contest, East Hampton was on a 32-game winning streak. They had not lost since Jan. 24, 2020.

After the first quarter, Valley Regional held a 11-5 lead. Junior Abby Bradburry scored all 11 points for the Warriors. Bradbury added another seven more points while sophomore Olivia Cunningham scored six in the second quarter. Valley outscored East Hampton 13-7 in that second period and took a 24-12 lead heading into halftime.

East Hampton would cut the lead to 10, 25-15, shortly after the start of the third quarter. However, the Warriors answered right back and held a 35-21 lead heading into the fourth.

With three minutes left, the Bellringers again cut into Valley’s lead this time at 12, 38-26. But the Warriors allowed just two more points from that point on and went on to win 41-28.

Bradbury led Valley with 19 points. Cunningham added nine while junior Lily Grow had seven. Junior Elizabeth Allen had six points in the win.

To end East Hampton’s win streak, Valley’s defense had to step up. In the victory, the Warriors allowed just four Bellringers to score. They held their opponent to just five total field goals; most of East Hampton’s points came off of free throws. Furthermore, in all four quarters, Valley didn’t allow the Bellringers to score in double digits. East Hampton’s nine points scored in the third quarter was their highest of the night.

Coming off of that victory, Valley Regional welcomed Granby to their home gym looking to keep their early-season win streak alive. Granby entered the contest on a two-game winning streak of their own.

Both teams were in a contested battle throughout the first half as Valley took just a five-point, 30-25 lead into the break. After halftime, Valley came out firing and outscored the Bears 16-5 in the third quarter to take a 46-31 lead into the final period.

There, Granby would start to mount a comeback. With 3:16 left in the ball game, the Bears had cut Valley’s lead to just 7, with the score standing at 53-46.

Over the last three minutes and change, the Warriors narrowly outscored Granby 10-8 and defeated the Bears 63-54. The win capped off another undefeated week and has Valley’s current record at 4-0.

In the win, Grow led Valley in scoring with 22 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field. Bradbury was right behind her, scoring 20 on five-of-19 shooting and a team high three three-pointers. Cunningham had 15 points on five-of-15 shooting.

Cunningham would also lead the team in rebounding, collecting nine boards. Six of them were offensive rebounds. Grow was right behind her with seven rebounds while Bradbury had five. Allen, senior Ava Cunningham, and junior Sienna Schaller each had three rebounds. Two of Schaller’s were offensive.

Bradbury and Ava Cunnginham both led the Warriors in assists with four. Grow and senior Elizabeth Klomp each added two. Bradbury also led Valley in steals with three while Ava Cunningham and Grow each had two.

With 20 points, three three-pointers, seven free throw makes on 15 attempts, five rebounds, four assists and three steals, Bradbury was named Valley Regional’s Player of the Game.

Prior to their two games this week, Valley started out their season with a pair of wins against North Branford and Haddam-Killingworth. They opened the year by defeating the Thunderbirds at home on Dec. 16, 67-29. Valley then defeated Haddam-Killingworth away on Dec. 18, 54-37.

The Warriors will begin their third week of play with an away matchup against Morgan on Jan. 4. They’ll finish the week back at home against Cromwell on Jan. 7.

The Valley Regional girls’ basketball team’s roster features seniors Ava Cunningham and Elizabeth Klomp; juniors Elizabeth Allen, Abby Bradbury, Lily Grow, and Sienna Schaller; sophomores Olivia Cunningham and Sharmel Rivera; and freshmen Rubee Cecchini, Emma Gibson, and Regan Grow. Jaime Bickelhaupt is the Warriors’ head coach.

Juniors Elizabeth Allen and Lily Grow helped the Warriors sweep recent action by earning wins against East Hampton and Granby. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier
Senior Ava Cunningham and the Valley girls’ basketball team have stormed out of the gates by winning their first four games this winter. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier