ShareThis Page
Kittanning bounces back vs. Valley |

Kittanning bounces back vs. Valley

| Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:00 a.m

Less than a week after one of its worst losses of the season, the Kittanning girls basketball team posted its second-highest scoring output and put in an equally stellar defensive performance Monday night in a 64-18 defeat of visiting Valley.

Kittanning sophomore Leah McKelvey matched Valley’s final team score with an 18-point game, and teammate Sara Ohm chipped in 16 and a team-high eight rebounds. Their big nights helped end the Wildcats’ two-game losing streak and give them their first Section 1-AAA game since Dec. 15.

In Kittanning’s previous game, last Thursday at Highlands, it scored a season-low 24. The Wildcats (9-4, 1-4) also had trouble scoring last Monday in a home loss to Franklin Regional, 42-37.

But the offensive struggles weren’t there against against Valley (1-12, 0-6). Kittanning’s 64-point night was just one point below its season-high of 65, set against St. Joseph on Dec. 26.

“We had a rough week last week,” Kittanning coach Janelle Kotyk said. “The kids worked really hard in practice over the last couple of days. We really tried to nitpick some of the things we weren’t doing well offensively or defensively. We really have to focus on improvement every single day, and I think they did that this weekend. They did a lot of little things right that they weren’t doing prior to today.”

Kittanning also posted a season-low in scoring defense. It was the first time the Wildcats held a team to below 20 points since Jan. 15 of last year.

“Valley is a really physical team. They’re very scrappy and have a lot of good ball players,” Kotyk said. “I feel as though I got a good effort out of all of my kids today, which is very important.”

Valley actually scored half of its points in the first quarter, but it still trailed by double digits at the end of the period because Kittanning’s shooters were hot from the start. McKelvey and Ohm scored eight and seven points, respectively, in the first quarter, propelling Kittanning to a 22-9 lead heading into the second quarter.

From there, the Wildcats’ defense buckled down, though poor shooting from the Lady Vikings also contributed to their lack of scoring.

Behind 39-14 at the start of the second half, Valley’s struggles continued as Kittanning’s offense continued to churn out points.

Valley scored just four points over the final 16 minutes, while Kittanning began to rotate reserves in and out of the game. Kotyk was especailly pleased to get her bench some much-needed minutes.

After McKelvey and Ohm, five other Kittanning players scored four points or more, including 10 points from senior guard Keri Neal.

“We’ve kind of been a little one-sided, as far as offensive scoring,” Kotyk said. “We really got even numbers out of everybody today.”

Casey Bonk led Valley with eight points on the night, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers in the first half.

The road only gets tougher for the Lady Vikings. They travel to Hampton (10-3, 5-1) on Thurday night.

Kittanning also has big game looming on Thursday, with section leader Mars visiting, but the Monday’s win has the Wildcats feeling good entering the matchup.

Said Ohm: “I hope that we can carry this momentum into Thursday against Mars.”

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.