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Turnabout was fair play in more ways than one for Metea Valley on Saturday.
The Mustangs knocked off rival Waubonsie Valley for the first time ever and their 50-27 Upstate Eight Valley victory was driven by the type of full-court press that has given them so many problems.
Visiting Metea Valley (9-3, 4-1) began the game using a full-court trap and the Warriors had no answer for it. The Mustangs forced three turnovers and sank their first five shots en route to a 20-4 lead.
“Our press was working really well,” Metea Valley senior center Lori Obendorf said. “We’ve been working on it all week and I think it worked out nicely.
“They couldn’t handle the pressure and we took advantage of it. A lot of teams have been doing that to us so we finally got to turn the tables a little bit.”
The early intensity is something Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas would like to see more of.
“We’ve kind of learned with this group that we need to start out with a high intensity defensively and that kind of sets the tempo for the rest of the game,” Kalivas said. “We worked a little bit this week on a full-court trap. We decided to try it out today and they did a really nice job out of that and I think it got us some easy steals, some easy layups and it gave us a lot of energy coming out of the gate.”
Senior guard Bria Walker got the early barrage started, scoring the first five points on a fast-break layup and a three-pointer, and the Mustangs made 12 of their first 15 shots to open up a 27-10 lead after one quarter.
Sophomore Nia Flowers scored all nine of her points during the burst, sinking 4-of-5 shots, while Walker and junior guard Jenny Voytell both made 3-of-4. They weren’t all layups, either, as two were treys and three others mid-range jumpers.
Obendorf didn’t score in the opening stanza but played a big role by blocking four shots. She finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and two steals and scored six of Metea’s eight points during the third quarter.
“Lori has been a very stable factor all season long for us offensively and defensively,” Kalivas said. “She’s very smart defensively so she’s in the right spots and she’s a hard worker. She fights with other post players and she gets blocks, she gets rebounds and offensively she does great job finishing for us.”
Obendorf, a three-year starter, relishes her role in the paint.
“I enjoy blocking shots,” Obendorf said. “It’s always a fun thing to do. If our first line of help breaks down then it’s nice to be able to step up and get that big play.”
Walker wound up with 10 points for Metea, which scored only two points in the second quarter but remained solid defensively, never allowing Waubonsie (0-11, 0-5) to get closer than 13 points. Kellee Clay added eight points and Voytell had six points and six steals.
“We were 0-5 against them since my sophomore year so we obviously really wanted to get this one,” Obendorf said. “They have a completely different team now, but we knew we couldn’t take anybody lightly, especially since it’s a rival game.”
Aniya Lightford scored eight points for the Warriors, while Ryaen Johnson added four points, seven rebounds and four blocks.