By Summer Patsko
The Valley Forge girls basketball team improved to 2-0 with a 52-41 win at Cloverleaf on Friday. Lameice El-Madhoun had a game high 25 points – shooting including five 3-pointers, 5 steals and 7 rebounds.
The Patriots trailed 11-8 in the first quarter but used a 9-0 run to pull away with an aggressive press and good defense. The Patriots never trailed the rest of the game, but didn’t pull away for good until Jada Benjamin and El-Madhoun scored seven straight points late in the fourth quarter.
“ I thought that was one of our sloppiest wins, but I think our perseverance, senior leadership and talent got us the victory.” said Coach Brittney Matuschek “We did pick it up in the second half. Coming out of the third quarter I thought the girls played strong, which gave us some momentum into the fourth- where maintained our lead.”
The Patriots’ biggest lead in the second quarter was 25-13 after two straight buckets from El-Madhoun. The Patriots led 27-20 at halftime.
“I think we played a good game overall I think we could have picked up a little more,” said El-Madhoun. “I think we let them score in transition a lot, but overall we did a good job. And even through the double teams we tried to get open. We had a good start. We had open shots, and good drives, and overall I think everyone did well.”
Cloverleaf got within four points in the third quarter, but the Patriots caused back-to-back turnovers and Benjamin hit a 3-pointer to rebuild the Patriots’ lead.
Hustle plays from Alysa Coyne caused three steals and Jurnee Amill scored six points during the Patriots’ run to rebuild the lead in the third quarter.
Cloverleaf got within 45-40 with two minutes to play, but Benjamin scored and El-Madhoun hit a 3 and another basket to closed out the game for the Patriots.
Other Patriots scorers included Amill (8), Benjamin (7), Summer Patsko (4) Emily Beckner (2) and Kailey Quinones (2). Amill also adding 10 rebounds
The Valley Forge JV team also got a win against Cloverleaf 42-15. Coyne scored 17 points and Amanda Fealkovich had 13.
The JV team played cross-town rival Parma early Saturday morning and won 42-22, making them 3-0.
The Patriots face off against North Ridgeville on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in a varsity-only game.