Whittell girls b-ball splits with Excel Christian, Smith Valley
The Whittell girls basketball team lost to the top team in its league last Friday — then bounced back with a win on its home court. The Warriors beat Excel Christian 47-28 last Saturday, a day after losing at league-leading Smith Valley.
Whittell (4-10, 2-3 IV West) rode a big first half past visiting Excel Christian on Saturday. The Warriors had a nine-point lead after the first quarter and opened up a commanding 31-7 lead at halftime — they were outscored after the break, but still managed a 19-point win.
“It was a fun game,” Warriors head coach Tom Esposito said.
Kelsey Kjer led Whittell with season-high 17 points in the win. The Warriors played without guard Daria Sharon, and Kjer picked up the slack offensively.
“She did a really fine job picking up the points,” Esposito said. “She’s a great shooter and her confidence level has built up since Saturday’s game — I think we’ll see more scoring from her now.
“She’s on the left side of the offense — most of our point guards are right-handed and they have a tendency to only look right. We’re trying to make that adjustment.”
Guard Chelsea Aguirre-Rodriguez also finished in double figures, scoring 10 points. Guard Gisselle Benitez added eight.
Last Friday, the Warriors fell at Smith Valley 56-27. The Bulldogs outscored the Warriors in every quarter while remaining unbeaten in league play.
“We hustled and worked hard — they were just a better team,” Esposito said. “They play well together and they just outscored us.”
Guard Samantha Forvilly led Whittell with 10 points — guard Ali Copsy and forward Michelle Barnes added five apiece. Guard Josy Wortman scored a game-high 12 points for Smith Valley — the Bulldogs had five players finish with at least eight points.
Whittell returned to action Tuesday at Coleville — the Warriors lost to the Wolves 29-22 in the teams’ first meeting. The Warriors resume league play Thursday at home against Sage Ridge — tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
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