Quaker Valley girls force 35 turnovers in win over Riverview

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Saturday, December 29, 2018 | 11:57 PM


Riverview did everything it could defensively to dig out of an eight-point halftime deficit by holding Quaker Valley without a field goal for the first 4 minutes, 30 seconds of the third quarter, but too many turnovers kept its offense stuck in neutral.

Any time the Raiders had an opportunity to cut into the lead, a missed shot or a turnover left them with a frustrating and fruitless possession, and eventually Quaker Valley pulled away.

The Raiders turned the ball over 35 and lost 45-30 on Saturday night in the championship game of the Spartan Holiday Classic at St. Joseph.

“You can’t turn the ball over 35 times,” Riverview coach Keith Stitt said. “I can’t believe that was the number that my (assistant) coaches told me. You only get 50-70 possessions in a typical high school basketball game, and if you’re turning it over 35 times you’re going to struggle. That’s the bottom line.”

After Sydney McDonough made a basket 30 seconds into the second half that cut the lead to 27-21, Riverview buckled down defensively with a switch to a 2-3 zone and frustrated Quaker Valley on the offensive side. But trip after trip down the court by the Raiders ended in a travel, a missed pass, a steal or a missed shot.

The Quakers finally broke through when Corinne Washington sank jumpers on back-to-back possessions with four minutes remaining in the third that pushed the lead to 10 points.

“We did a good job staying in passing lanes and getting deflections, and we got some transition points tonight,” Quaker Valley coach Tom Demko said. “We haven’t had a lot of transition points in games, and we always say we want to get our guards Bailey (Garbee), Amy (Wilson) and Corrine out and running. Tonight we were able to do that, and that was good to see.”

Riverview (4-5) trailed by eight in the fourth and again held Quaker Valley (5-3) without a basket for a three-minute stretch, but like in the third, couldn’t find a way to score. Washington made a layup to put the Quakers in front 38-28, and they held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

“Despite all the turnovers, we were in the game until the final two minutes,” Stitt said. “We did some good things. We rebounded much better in the second half. We switched to a 2-3 zone, and I thought we had some success with that, but you can’t turn the ball over like that.

“We have a tendency to play a little out of control at times. Tonight we played a lot out of control. We have to get that corrected, because we now move into section play pretty steady for the next month or so.”

Washington, the younger sister of former Quaker Valley boys basketball standout and current Drexel guard Coltrane Washington, finished with a game-high 21 points and was named tournament MVP.

“She’s capable of taking a game over,” Demko said of Washington. “I thought tonight she created space for herself to get to the basket. She’s a heck of a shooter, but we really wanted her to get to the basket tonight and I think that’s what helped.”

Quaker Valley guard Garbee scored 16 points and was named to the all-tournament team. McDonough, who had nine points, and Annie Betler, who scored eight, earned all-tournament honors for Riverview. Francesca Lio led the Raiders with 10 points.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.

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