Whittell girls b-ball routs Virginia City 61-32, delivers third straight win
ZEPHYR COVE — As the midpoint of league play nears, the Whittell girls basketball team appears to finally be hitting its stride. The Warriors routed visiting Virginia City 61-32 on Saturday, Jan. 23, delivering their third straight victory while surviving a physical test.
“They came out with the idea that they could do this, and knowing that they have everything they need to win a game,” Warriors coach Tom Esposito said. “It was a good win for us.”
Whittell (6-11, 4-4 IV West) had a five-point lead after the opening frame and stretched it in the second quarter. By halftime the Warriors opened up a 26-11 advantage, staying in front of Virginia City (1-9, 0-5) after an extremely physical opening two quarters.
“It was definitely physical,” Esposito said. “I told the girls that you retaliate by winning — that’s how you get even.”
The Warriors did just that in the third quarter, extending their lead to put the Muckers away. Whittell had a commanding 45-23 lead after three quarters, and maintained that in the fourth quarter while ending a stretch of five straight losses to Virginia City over the last three seasons.
“The third quarter was important to us,” Esposito said. “If we came out flat, we would have been in trouble — but we came out and controlled it.”
Sophomore Kaitlyn Kjer led a balanced Whittell attack Saturday with 19 points. Senior Kelsey Kjer scored 11, junior Samantha Forvilly added 10, freshmen Brianna Johns had eight and senior Jordyn Becker finished with seven.
“We shot well tonight, and it’s all attributed to our confidence level,” Esposito said. “Before, we didn’t have the confidence or the drive to do it for 32 minutes.”
After a 1-4 start in league play, the Warriors have now won three straight games. Whittell is in the hunt for the fourth playoff spot in Div. IV West League along with Coleville (5-3) and Mineral County (3-5).
“We’re definitely headed in the right direction,” Esposito said. “Hopefully this is the way we can continue for the rest of the season.”
Whittell returned to action Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Pyramid Lake. The Warriors travel to Mineral County on Friday, Jan. 29, before hosting Loyalton (Calif.) in a nonleague contest Saturday, Jan. 30, at 2:30 p.m.
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