CALEDONIA – The West County girls basketball team had just one senior on the roster this season, but displayed significant depth against conference rival Valley on Wednesday.
Junior forward Cheyenne Young scored 10 of her 14 points while the Lady Bulldogs created distance in the second quarter, leading to an eventual 62-28 semifinal victory in the Valley Tournament.
Freshman reserve Dori McRaven also finished with 14 points along with eight rebounds, as West County (2-0) secured a meeting with top seed South Iron in the title game on Thursday.
The Lady Bulldogs forced 20 turnovers in the contest, and never trailed after two baskets by center Allee Drennen spurred an opening 7-0 run.
Valley (2-1) attacked to draw fouls early on, and pulled within 13-8 on a cutting layup by Emma Beers, but the host squad could draw any closer.
West County crashed the glass to earn five shots on the ensuing possession, and McRaven sank two free throws as a result.
Young banked in a 3-pointer after going scoreless in the first quarter, then finished a diagonal feed in the low post for a 23-13 advantage.
The Lady Vikings were held without a made field goal over the last 6:35 of the first half, and trailed 36-16 at the break after Ivy Meinershagen scored off a steal.
Madison Lucas scored nine points to pace Valley, which struggled to a 9-of-25 showing from the line while its opponents converted 13-of-17 free throws.
Beers compiled eight points with eight rebounds, and Emma Rosener made four steals as the Lady Vikings dropped in the third-place bracket to face Jefferson.
Valley senior guard Lexie Black played significant minutes despite suffering a sprained ankle against Kingston on Monday, but her mobility was clearly limited in terms of cutting and driving.
Lucas hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter, but West County still carried a 47-26 edge into the fourth before pulling farther away.
Alyssa Roever hit a baseline runner for the Lady Bulldogs, and Jordan Stevens matched a Beers putback with her own second-chance field goal.
Drennen tallied 12 points and received a number of entry passes from Meinershagen, who notched seven assists. Stevens scored eight points and Roever had seven in the win.