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West Valley girls JV basketball finishes up-and-down January

WEST VALLEY — The West Valley Central School girls junior varsity basketball team entered the new year with a 2 – 5 overall record, looking to close that gap.

With two games’ remaining, girls sat at 5 – 9, overall, boasting an above-average 5 – 4 record, in league play.

The team’s first game of 2013 was on the road against Sherman. West Valley came up short and suffered the loss, but followed up with a 42 – 9 win on Jan. 11, against Brocton, at home. The win marked the girls’ third victory against Brocton, this season.

“A complete defensive game from the whole team proved to be the difference,” said Coach Bryan Hanson.

Jordan Seltzer led the team in scoring, with 16 points, six rebounds and five steals. EmmaLea Erlandson had 9 points and nine rebounds and Alex Gentner finished, with 7 points and 10 rebounds. Cameron McLeod scored 4 points and had eight rebounds, while Sidney Ploetz had 4 points. Kelsey Chai rounded out the scoring, with 2 points. “It was a team effort and a great win,” Hanson said.

During the following week, the girls took on Ellicottville, on the road, on Jan. 15. This game was closer than the girls’ last outing; the final result was a second straight victory, by a score of 16 – 15. With 6 seconds left, the girls held off the Ellicottville Eagles’ late attempt to win the game, securing the win for the road team, which had trailed 9 – 8, at halftime. A 4 – 0 third quarter put West Valley in the lead.

The Eagles pulled back to within 3 points, with approximately 1 minute to go. At that point, Ellicottville took possession and scored on a foul shot, before going back to the line, with an opportunity to even up the score. Thanks to the missed attempt, the Wildcats won the game, led by Erlandson’s 6 points and six rebounds.

Seltzer had 4 points and three steals, to go with four assists, and Gentner put up 4 points and 12 rebounds, in what her coach called a “strong game.” McLeod also added 2 points.

The girls were back on the court, the following night, and strung together their third win in a row.

At home against North Collins, West Valley took a 31 – 4 victory. “The Lady Griffins were led by strong team defense, which proved to be havoc for the Eagles,” Hanson said.

McLeod led the way, racking up 9 points and six rebounds. Seltzer had 8 points, three rebounds and five steals. Erlandson had 6 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, to go with a “strong defensive game,” according to her coach. Chai and Gentner had 3 points each and Ploetz put up 2.

The Jan. 19 home game against Sherman brought the girls’ hot streak to an end. The final score was 44 – 24.

Despite the loss, Gentner had the best game of her career, scoring 14 points. But she watched the visiting team pull away, during the final quarter.

From the start, Sherman racked up four 3-point shots, to take a 24 – 6 lead, after the first quarter. That deficit was by 7 points in the third quarter, at 27 – 20. In addition to her 14 points, Gentner had eight rebounds. Erlandson had 4 points and 11 rebounds, while Ploetz, Chai and Seltzer all had 2 points.

Jan. 23 marked the beginning of a losing streak, as the visiting Franklinville Panthers won a 30 – 27 game.

“The Wildcats were led by a strong game, from Captain Jordan Seltzer,” Hanson said. Seltzer racked up 14 points and 12 steals in the losing effort. Erlandson had 4 points and 11 rebounds, while McLeod had 4 points and six rebounds. Gentner had 3 points and seven rebounds, to go with Chai’s 2 points. In addition, Chai was “strong defensively,” according to her coach.

The three-game winning streak was followed by a losing streak that was extended to three games, on Jan. 28, during a road game in Clymer. The Clymer Pirates won 45 – 28, sending the West Valley girls home with a 5 – 9 record. “Even with balanced scoring, the Wildcats could not hold a hot shooting Clymer team in the second half,” Hanson said.

Down by 4 at halftime, West Valley was outscored 14 – 2, during the third quarter. Seltzer and Erlandson led the way, with 8 points each, followed by McLeod’s 6 points. Gentner had 5 points, while Alycia Currie scored 1. In addition to her point total, Erlandson tallied 15 rebounds, a new career high. Gentner had seven rebounds.

The girls have three games remaining in the season.

The next one will be held on Thursday, Feb. 7 at Brocton. That game is scheduled for 6 p.m.

“This team never gives up,” Hanson said, adding, “They all have the heart of champions. Even though our record isn’t great, the team is in every game they play.”

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