St. Mary's second-half blitz lifted the Blue Devils to a 70-47 Senior Night victory over the Valley Lumberjills Feb. 14 inside the Blue Devils Den.
After falling behind 19-14 in the opening quarter, the Valley Lumberjills fought back and erased their lead late in period two when
McKenzie Melott sank a triple to pull Valley to 32-29. However, the 'Jills Melanie Thomas sank a pair of two-pointers that gave the visiting Valley squad a 33-32 advantage at the break.
The Lumberjills’ junior Sophie Palmer is flanked by, from left, (sister) Lila, (mother) Gabrielle, Sophie, (father) David, and (brother) Peyton Palmer
After a two-minute scoring drought to start the second half, the Lumberjills would up their advantage to four points when Jamey West sank a basket from beyond the arch to give Valley a 36-32 lead.
However, the state-ranked Blue Devils would go on a 15-4 run to pull away from the 'Jills to get their hard-fought victory.
The 'Jills Sophie Palmer paced the Valley scoring with 13 points to push her over 1,000 career points, while Jenna Dallison came off the bench to score a career-high 11 points.
A Lasting Impression
Though they lost to their opponent, Valley High School left a lasting impression on the St. Marys Blue Devils when the two schools faced off in girls basketball action on Feb. 14.
Perhaps to the random spectator, the final moments of the game were not unusual. However, based on an e-mail he sent to VHS Principal J.C. Kimble, Howard Meeks - coach of the St. Marys girls basketball team - was profoundly affected by a display of sportsmanship.
Meeks wrote to Kimble the following:
"As you know, it was our senior night and we had a senior player that has battled a malignant tumor to be able to return for her very first game ever at SMHS on that night."
"I wanted to personally acknowledge the sportsmanship, compassion and gift that your coach gave by 'easing up' the D to allow her to have a shot in the final minute."
"It may have been 2 points for most ladies, but it was the most gracious gift this coach has ever been given."
Meeks went on to commend Kimble, his school, and VHS girls basketball coach Jeff Derby for "the class and sportsmanship displayed."
Even though it was a Valentine's night game, it is safe to assume that the Valley Lumberjills' compassion and heart are prevalent any day of the year.
In addition Melanie Thomas added nine markers, while Rachel Baker netted six points, and Melott and West each recorded a triple for all the Lumberjill scoring.
For the Lady Blue Devils, Jordan Fox led the way offensively with a game-high 25 points, while Jenna Nichols and Addie Furr tallied 15 and 10 points, respectively.