By Steve Keenan
OAK HILL —
Brooke Daniels hit a two-pointer with :03 left Wednesday to lift the Collins Middle School girls basketball team to their first triumph of the season, 23-21 over Valley.
Coach Paul Baker, who started the season as the assistant coach but was elevated when John Fitzwater resigned, admitted it felt good to secure the season’s first win after six losses.
“We’re rebuilding anyway (losing eighth-graders such as Kaitlyn Goodman and Caelea Teel, who are now starters on the OHHS varsity squad), and this is my first year,” Baker said. He said he’s tried to implement more of an “aggressive” attack. “We look to be able to compete a little better that way.”
To get past the Greyhounds, Collins had to overcome a 21-16 deficit in the game’s latter stages. Madison Lilly connected on a pair of free throws and Emily Reeves made one freebie to trim the deficit to 21-19, then Lilly converted a 2-point field goal to knot the contest at 21-21 and set the stage for the winning bucket by Daniels.
Lilly finished with nine points, nine rebounds and three steals to lead the way. Cydney Thomas added eight points, including seven crucial points in the third. She also had two rebounds and a steal.
Other contributors were: Reeves, one point and two rebounds; Daniels, four points and four rebounds; Sian Smith, one point, one rebound and one assist; Tae’a Scruggs, one rebound; and Morgan Adkins, three rebounds and one assist.
Paris Fairfax scored 10 points to lead Valley. Jersey Thompson added nine and Taylor Oden two.
Valley posted a 57-45 victory in the boys contest, dropping Collins to 1-6.
“Valley jumped on us in the first quarter,” said CMS coach Andy Kees. Collins scored just two points in the first six minutes and trailed 30-16 at half. The Little Devils got the deficit to within 10 points a couple of times but still wound up falling short.
Tyrese Selinger pumped in 20 points for Collins, and teammate Dalton Kincaid added 13.
The Little Devils have missed contributions from two injured players particularly, Kees said.
Leading scorer Michael Martin has been sidelined but is expected back for tonight’s contest at Fayetteville. Point guard Devante Patrick, though, is likely lost for the season due to injury.
As the squad returns closer to full strength and the younger plays gain more experience, Kees expects the Little Devils to be more competitive as the season wears on.
“We’re a work in progress,” he said.
In an earlier game, the Collins girls fell 32-20 to Ansted.
Cydney Thomas tallied 14, Madison Lilly four and Danielle Richardson two for the Little Devils.
Jacklyn Nuckols paced Ansted with 10 points. Others in the scoring column included: Mallory Stonestreet, 4; Sarah Horrocks, 2; Kayla Franklin, 2; Kiera Lesher, 7; Devon Nickell, 3; and Haley Nickell, 4.