Freeport girls basketball team downs Valley
The Valley girls basketball team has yet to win, but first-year coach Mindy Beale White sees progress.
On Monday night, Valley (0-3, 0-2) stayed with Freeport (4-1, 2-0) for nearly a half, but periodic lapses enabled the Yellowjackets to pull away for an 82-59 Section 1-AAA home victory.
The lead changed hands eight times in the first half before Freeport staged a 14-0 run to take control.
Sophomore Zoe Soilis poured in 20 points and had six steals for Freeport, and teammate Macy Smolic added 18 points, including 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.
The effort offset an outstanding performance by Valley's Lashay Madison, who had 25 points and 22 rebounds.
Kaylyn Iacopino had 22 for the Vikings.
“It's had its battles here and there, but it's been good,” White said of the start to her coaching career. “We've been playing three quarters of ball, not four. Freeport had 18 points in foul shots. That's just mental errors on our part.”
White wasn't hired until September, putting the team behind squads that were together over the summer.
Meanwhile, Freeport coach Paul Sylba knew what was in store for his team.
“Valley has some talented players,” Sylba said. “We were worried about them. I thought we got some composure late in the first half. Even in our victory, Valley still put up 59 points.”
Soilis started out strong, scoring 11 points in the first period. Iacopino and Madison countered with nine apiece.
A basket by Jame' Reese with 2:43 to go in the half gave the Vikings their final lead of the game.
Iacopino picked up her third foul with 27 seconds left in the half, further hampering Valley's chances.
Michaela Bowser and Haley Connor helped propel the Yellowjackets in the third period with eight and six points, respectively.
George Guido is a freelance writer.