Girls Basketball: Metea Valley cruises past Lake ParkMetea Valley's Bria Walk splits a Lake Park High School triple team on Monday February 6, 2012 at Metea Valley High School in Aurora. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 6, 2012 10:08PM
Metea Valley could do no wrong in its 66-52 Upstate Eight Valley home contest against Lake Park.
The Mustangs (14-12, 6-6) sank five three-pointers and shot 86 percent (19-for-22) from the foul line. They also made nine steals in forcing 13 Lancers turnovers and won the rebounding battle 30-21.
“The first half, I felt like we were getting some good shots but they weren’t going down and we weren’t rebounding our misses,” Lake Park coach Andrea Miller said. “I felt like we could have gotten some higher-percentage shots and worked the ball around. The shots weren’t bad but they just weren’t going in.”
The Lancers (8-17, 2-10) made just 64 percent (9-of-14) of their free throws, with leading scorer Alexis Hahn (25 points, six rebounds) going 8-of-9 from the line. Alyssa Hernandez scored 12 to go with six rebounds and the rest of the team contributed just 15 points and nine rebounds.
Metea Valley junior guard Bria Walker recorded a team-high 18 points to go with four steals and three rebounds. She also made all eight of her free throws and hit two long threes—both in the first half.
Fellow junior Lori Obendorf scored 14 and pulled down six rebounds, and classmate Anna Petersen scored 12 off the bench to go with four boards.
Junior Megan Geldernick scored nine points. Senior Amira Turner scored six but grabbed 11 rebounds, eight of which came in the first half.
Turner discussed her team’s rebounding strategy.
“Definitely, it was just to be big, definitely be on the boards,” she said. “I know they’re a bigger team, so definitely make sure that we were the ones there offensively.”
Walker, Geldernick and sophomore Kellee Clay (five points off the bench) all drained NBA-range three-pointers in the first half. Clay’s trey from straight away at the first-half buzzer gave the Mustangs a 30-23 lead.
Hahn scored 14 in the second half, constantly keeping her Lancers teammates in the game. Her three-point play reduced Metea Valley’s lead to 36-30 in the third quarter and she dropped in a three-pointer later in the period to make it a one-point game at 38-37, Mustangs.
Like they did all night, the Mustangs answered with a run of their own. Clay sank two foul shots to stretch the lead back to 40-37 and an Obendorf turnaround jumper in the lane gave Metea Valley the 42-37 lead it held through three.
In the fourth, Walker found a wide-open Obendorf cutting to the basket for a layup that made it 50-41. After that, the Mustangs never looked back.
Walker sealed the win with steals on three straight possessions, twice finishing the possessions with layups.
“We didn’t want them to get easy buckets at all, so we wanted to keep pressuring them and waste time off the clock and keep pressuring at all times,” Walker said.
Miller said her Lancers team “panicked” in that fourth-quarter sequence.
The Mustangs could not have made their first-ever senior night much more special.
And, of most importance, they’re peaking at just the right time heading into the conference tournament and the fast-approaching postseason.
“I think we’ve had a good last couple months here, so I think after Christmas, January and February have both been good months for us, so I do,” Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas said. “I think we’re kind of on the upward swing going into regionals and it’s where we want to be.”