LEWISBURG – Mississinawa Valley is in the middle of a rough stretch.
Two of its varsity players were recently injured in a car crash and are undergoing concussion protocol. So two down is tough enough for any team.
Then the Blackhawks lost their league leading rebounder Sidnie Hunt to an accident at a skating rink. Hunt had dislocated a finger and was also not available for Tuesday’s game at Tri-County.
So when it rains, it pours for the Blackhawks.
Three players down, the Blackhawks limped into Tuesday’s game against the Panthers. Their youth and inexperience showed as North had its way in a 55-18 victory.
Early on it was clear that the Blackhawks were focused on North’s Aubrey Stupp, who recently had set a school record with 43 points. MV girls basketball coach Vance Venesky later said he knew that Stupp had scored more than 40 points, and he wanted to be sure that she did not do that against the Blackhawks. So the Blackhawks set their defense as a box and one with the chaser being assigned to Stupp.
In the first half Stupp hardly could get a shot off without one or more defenders in her face. She only had 3 points in the first quarter. So the strategy was successful at the start.
Stupp did end up with 19 points – but the Blackhawks prevented her from getting anywhere close to her previous record.
On the other hand, finding offense was a problem for Mississinawa Valley. The Hawks were getting off open shots but had problems finding the net. And the offensive rebounds were few and far between so there were not many second-chance shots. The Blackhawks would not score their first basket until late in the first quarter when Leah Scholl nailed a trey.
The Blackhawks did manage to keep even with the Panthers in the last quarter as both teams scored 7 points in the frame.
Mississinawa again will be shorthanded against league rival Bradford. MV could have two players back in time for the Ansonia game on Saturday, and if all goes well then next week the Hawks will be back up to full strength. But it the meantime it will be a patchwork lineup.
“It was a tough night,” Coach Venesky said. “The girls that I had available to me gave it their all. When Sidnie Hunt, the leading rebounder in the conference is out, that makes it hard. We are just not that deep. She is also our leading scorer. We are a young team anyway. But at one point we had five freshmen on the court. Half of our players are freshmen. Sure they are getting varsity experience, but it is tough going for them. But we hope that in the long run that getting this experience is going to help them. They are learning now what they need to do better to be successful in the future.”
Scoring: MV – Bailey Johnson 3, Riley Price 3, Taylor Stachler 6, Olivia Caixba 6. TCN – Faith Estep 7, Megan Poling 2, Cassi Stinson 2, Emily Norris 6, Abby Rupp 4, Maddy Flory 1, Sidney Jackson 8, Shyanna Baker 4, Jaelyn Hawkins 2, Alaina Baldasare 2, Aubrey Stupp 19