With starting point guard Carson Pipher recovering from the flu, sophomore Ashley Van Vleet was one of several players to step up Friday in Paonia's 72-39 win over West Grand. "It was kind of nice to get some shots to go in," said Van Vleet, a 5-foot, 11-inch sophomore post who was averaging fewer than five points per game.
Van Vleet has been staying after practice to work on her moves.
Head coach Scott Rienks lauded Van Vleet for her efforts. "Ashley and I work a lot together. She is so athletic," said Rienks. On Saturday, Van Vleet scored a game-high 15 points in Paonia's 74-13 win over North Park.
Against West Grand, Taylor Plymale scored eight consecutive points and sank six-of-six free throws in the second period to end the game with 12 points and boost Paonia to a 42-16 halftime lead.
Plymale had been struggling at the free-throw line, said Rienks. "Tonight she looked comfortable. I was way proud of her."
Junior point guard Brooklynd Erickson scored six points and had three of the team's 26 steals and five rebounds. At 5 feet tall, Erickson is consistently one of the first six players on the court, and started against West Grand.
Erickson uses her diminutive frame and her speed — she was a sprinter on the girls state championship track team — to her advantage, and has even pulled down 19 rebounds this season. "It's kind of good to be one of those fast guards and to be able to steal the ball," said Erickson. "And being able to shoot the ball."
Her shots do get blocked a lot, "but I kind of just shake it off."
Despite the win, Rienks said he was disappointed in the team's second-half efforts, but admitted that it's tough to get motivated when the team is up 26 points.
Paonia is now 11-3 overall, 4-0 in Western Slope conference play after Saturday's 74-13 conference win over North Park (2-9, 1-2).
The Paonia boys were able to hold off a fourth-quarter rally to defeat West Grand, 60-54, Friday. Paonia held the Mustangs to two, third-period points to take a 12-point lead. On Saturday, Paonia took an early 16-7 lead against North Park and outscored the Wildcats in all four quarters for a 67-43 conference win.
The Eagles are 9-4, 4-0 and in third place and one game behind Hotchkiss. They travel to Vail Christian (5-5, 0-2) this week.
"They're always a well-disciplined team," said head coach Chase Roeber. "They'll be tough."blog comments powered by Disqus