The Mineral County High girl’s basketball team may be finding its stride.
On Jan. 17 the Lady Serpents hosted the Whittell Warriors, in a game critical to reclaiming the team’s faltering mojo.
Mineral County was able to claim an easy victory, 38-25.
“At first we thought it was going to be a real easy game, but then we were looking at their stats,” Elena Viani-Whittwer said of the Warriors.
Viani-Whittwer is the junior varsity coach, who filled in for the absent Lady Serpents’ coach Foster Kenton during the Whittell game.
One of the keys to the Mineral County victory was the tough defense, Viani-Whittwer said.
The tough full court press lead to numerous Lady Serpents fast breaks and layups. The faster pace and shorter shots helped alleviate the Mineral County squad’s shooting woes.
“We lost our long shot, for some reason,” Viani-Whittwer said.
But to compensate the Lady Serpents focused on layups and close shots, using their complex motion offense to bore open holes in the Whittell defense and create opportunities for easy shots.
“They did make a lot of shorter shots, and I think they were a lot more relaxed for whatever reason on Friday,” said Amanda Jones, Viani-Whittwer’s assistant coach. “For whatever reason their shots were just going in.”
The bench still struggled with the more complex offensive schemes, Vianni-Whittwer said, but she’s seen marked improvement from those players as well, especially when there’s an older player on the court to help provide leadership.
Kelsey Viani-Whittwer lead Lady Serpents’ scoring with 12 points. Taylor McFalls added 10; Danielle Wilson had 6; Alexa McFalls and Delisia Kamp each had 4; and Briana Balentine had a bucket.
Taylor McFalls’ performance in particular was crucial to the win, Elena Vianni-Whittwer said.
“She had a really good game,” Elena Viani-Whittwer said. “She was getting in there and getting the short ones so if they miss she would get the rebound and get it back up.”
But, more important than any individual performance was the chemistry the team is starting to find.
“That’s the best I’ve seen them play,” Jones said. “Its the most I’ve ever seen them hustle, and play hard, and play as a team.”