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Spring Valley Girls Get Redemption In 49-37 Win Over Wade Hampton (G) To Claim AAAAA Girl’s Basketball Title (With Photo Gallery)

Columbia--As Spring Valley girl’s basketball coach Megan Assey walked in the locker room after the Vikings 49-37 victory over Wade Hampton (G), that gave them the Class AAAAA state championship at the USC Colonial Life Arena, her team was sitting in wait, ready to douse her with water bottles in celebration.

It might have been symbolic of washing away the disappointment of a season ago. In Assey’s first season, the Vikings suffered an uncustomary second round playoff loss to conclude a season that Assey acknowledged was “brutal” earlier this week.

The victory gives Spring Valley three championships in four years, five since 2009 and six overall. The Vikings had previously won titles in 1978, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2016.

“Obviously, there’s a championship tradition of excellence established here,” Assey said. “I knew that, and it was a big draw for me to take the job but at the same time, winning and winning consistently is hard. It’s about what you build together. Its culture, its leadership and it’s buy in. That’s what they brought this year.”

It was ugly basketball at times, unless of course you wore the green and gold of Spring Valley.

Scoring was at a premium the first 15 minutes. The Vikings shot just 5-of-29 in the first half but Wade Hampton was even worse at 3-of-21. Neither team reached double figures until the final minute of the half when Ashley Williamson took matters into her own hands.

The junior guard (Williamson) has committed to Clemson, knocked down an open 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining in the half. After a steal at mid-court, Williamson knocked down a second, long range shot to give the Vikings a 15-8 lead at the half. The lead was never less than seven points the rest of the way.

That late spurt was the momentum the Vikings were looking for.

“That was the momentum we needed,” Assey said. “We couldn’t throw it in the ocean. Nerves had a lot to do with that but that got us going and gave us an energy rush heading into the second half.”

It was a much better performance by Spring Valley (28-2) in the second half. They were 12-of-24 from the field in the second half, mainly behind the play of junior Taylor Lewis. The junior missed last season with a torn ACL but was the difference-maker over the final 16 minutes.

She scored 16 of her 18 points after intermission to go along with seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals.

“Taylor Lewis really stepped it up there in the second half. She was nearly unstoppable for about four possessions,” Assey said. “Taylor played the game of her life, especially in that second half. When she on like that, nobody can stop her. It’s pretty special to watch.”

Lewis was determined to get the Vikings back to the finals after having to sit and watch last season. She went into an offensive mindset in the second half and it carried over to the rest of the team.

“It meant a lot to me to bring a championship back to Spring Valley after battling back from an ACL injury. It felt good to be a big part of the team and win another title,” the junior said. “My demeanor changed in the second half. I didn’t want to see us, and I was willing to do anything to capture another title.”

Williamson finished with 10 points and Lauryn Taylor added 10 rebounds.

Bre Watts scored 16 points for Wade Hampton (23-5), who lost in the finals for the second straight season. But Wade Hampton coach Eric Burrow was pleased with the way his team competed the entire season.

“It means great things were accomplished for us to get back here,” he said. “Those seven juniors last year were able to get back to the title game as seniors when many people didn’t believe they could do it. It’s a compliment to them for how hard they’ve worked to get back here. It was a disappointing outcome. Every time we made a run, Spring Valley had an answer.”   

SV – Taylor Lewis 18, Ashley Willamson 10, Coleman 8, Wall 7, Taylor 4, Wiley 2. WH – Bre Watts 16, Boone 8, Dillard 4, Shipman 4, Guthie 3, Aiken 2.

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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