Villa Grove Blue Devils girls basketball team defeats ALAH Knights

By Tony Hooker 
The Blue Devils turned up the pressure, holding ALAH scoreless until the 4:01 mark of the first quarter and raced out to a 11-0 lead on their way to a 25-3 margin at the end of the first quarter, and then cruised to a 67-27 win over the Knights on December 5. 

Samantha Campbell spearheaded the VGH defense, pilfering six of her game-high seven steals in the opening stanza.  According to Coach Dan Sappenfield, the emphasis on defense is by design.  “We say our offense is our defense. We can turn turnovers into layups, really fast.  That’s what kids want to do. It’s a lot more fun to play. It’s a lot more fun to watch, as long as they can do it under control.”   Campbell added seven points and a game-high seven rebounds for the Blue Devils.  “We’ve moved her to the point, and we think that’s a nightmare matchup for our opponents who will put one of their bigs on her and she’ll be able to blow right by them.”  

Aliya Holloman led the way offensively, tallying twenty-five points without forcing things.  “That’s what we’ve been working on,” Sappenfield said.  “Trying to get her to understand when to do it.  ‘You’re a scorer, you’re going to get your points’, but recognizing the right opportunities while sharing the ball.”  

Kyleigh Block nailed a trio of three-pointers and hit five of six free throws on her way to a seventeen-point night for the Blue Devils, who hit ten of their thirteen free throws in the contest.  

Sophomore Vanessa Wright provided quality minutes for VGH, chipping in eight points and two rebounds, and senior Jordyn Ray added four points and a team-high four assists.  Junior Madie Burwell made her presence felt for the Devils as well, tallying four points and grabbing five rebounds for VGH, who moved their record to 4-1 with the win.  

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