RANDOLPH — Faced with a 14-point deficit after three quarters of play, the Blue Valley Rams would need to play some of their best basketball to rally and beat Doniphan West Friday night.
They would go on to outscore the Mustangs 14-5 in the final quarter, but fall short in the end as Doniphan West hit just enough free throws late to put the game away.
Blue Valley’s 14-point quarter, which nearly equaled their halftime point total, came fresh off a one-point victory against Clifton-Clyde earlier this week.
Blue Valley (2-14, 1-8 Twin Valley) sprinted out of the gate against Doniphan West and held a first-quarter lead, but the inside play of Doniphan’s Regan Gibson proved to be too much for in the ensuing quarter. Gibson had 10 points through the first half.
Doniphan West (7-7, 2-6) sophomore guard McKenzie Blevins added eight points in the second quarter.
In an effort to contain Gibson, Rams head coach Bridgett Henry decided to make a defensive switch during the second half. Freshman Megan Plummer, who stands three inches shorter than Gibson, held the Doniphan West post to just two points in the second half.
“Plummer stepped up in the second half and I think she did an excellent job guarding a 6-foot-1 girl,” Henry said. “But if they would lob it in we would also have backside help too.”
In the fourth quarter, Doniphan West scored all five of its points from the free-throw line. The continued improvement on the defensive side of the ball is an encouraging sign for Henry and her players.
“I think our defense is now starting to do things,” Henry said. “That’s a good thing.”
Monique Sandquist scored eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter for Blue Valley.
Six of the nine players that saw time in the game for Blue Valley scored.