CALEDONIA – The West County girls basketball team received stellar efforts from two starting freshmen, and reached the championship game of the Valley Tournament in impressive fashion Thursday night.
Efficient half-court offense helped the second-seeded Lady Bulldogs increase a double-digit advantage throughout the third quarter in a 70-50 triumph over host Valley.
Cheyenne Young compiled 15 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman classmate Ivy Meinershagen added 13 points plus three steals. West County (2-0) will meet South Iron for the title on Saturday night.
Each team finished in the neighborhood of 20 turnovers, but the Lady Bulldogs created a bunch of them off full-court pressure and converted several transition layups as a result.
Alyssa Roever found Young inside for a basket before sinking her own 18-footer as West County opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run to extend a 37-26 halftime lead.
Kaylin Sites banked in a runner from the right side, then drove the lane for another field goal before the period ended in a 57-34 separation.
Madison Lucas converted a 3-point play for Valley as the fourth commenced, but was answered inside by Young before Meinershagen ran a fast break and finished a contested layup.
Junior forward Lauryn Gallaher had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Vikings. Lexie Black added 11 points and fellow sophomore Emma Rosener chipped in 10.
Valley (2-1) closed the first quarter with a 9-0 spurt after two baskets along the low block by Callahan staked West County to a quick 12-4 lead.
Lacey Yount sank consecutive mid-range jumpers, and Gallaher completed a 3-point play after attacking in transition. Gallaher’s third field goal provided their Lady Vikings their final edge at 15-14.
Meinershagen found Taylor Reed cutting from beyond the perimeter for a 3-point play in response, then dribbled through multiple defenders for a key layup after making a steal.
Lady Bulldogs senior Sydney Proffitt later knocked down a 15-footer from the left side, and intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass for a driving layup and sudden 25-16 advantage.
Black traded flashy layups with Sites in the final seconds of the first half. West County had established a 34-21 margin on triples by Roever and Meinershagen.
Callahan finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, and Roever scored 11 for West County.
Rosener reached double digits for Valley by sinking three jumpers in the second half. The Lady Vikings will face Bismarck for third place on Saturday.