By Summer Patsko
The Valley Forge girls basketball team improved to 6-4 with a 51-45 win Monday night over cross-town rival Parma. The Patriots are now 4-3 in the Great Lakes Conference. After bouncing back from to straight losses.
Jada Benjamin scored 17 points, Lameice El-Madhoun and Emily Beckner had 9 and Jurnee Amill had 8, Alysa Coyne and Summer Patsko both had 2.
The game was tied 39-39 with 5:58 left in the fourth. Back-to-back steals by Benjamin and Summer Patsko gave the Patriots a 43-39 lead. Alysa Coyne’s layup and Amill ‘s fadeaway pushed the lead to 47-43 with 2:50 left.
Benjamin hit free throws and the Patriots played good defense to close out the game.
“Definitely coming out of our last two losses over the weekend (we) realigned what the expectations were, and definitely tried to keep their heads up,” said Coach Brittney Matushek. “You know teams go through little slumps, we just didn’t want it to last very long. So rebuilding the confidence in the girls and keeping them focused on what the goal is this year. They also had no choice. We’re playing Parma, you got to come out strong!”
The Patriots trailed 19-14 after the first quarter and trailed 24-20 in the second but went on a 10-0 run to lead 30-24 at the half.
The Patriots struggled to score in the third but never lost the lead. El-Madhoun hit a 3-pointer to give the Patriots a 39-34 lead going into the fourth.
“I felt in the third quarter and late fourth we really turned up our press and got turnovers,” said Benjamin. “We were able to capitalize off of the turnovers. Summer was a big part of that, she was kind of like the catalyst for our our press and getting turnovers”
The Patriots’ next game is Wednesday in the first-ever GLC tournament. The Patriots are seeded sixth and face third-seeded Normandy. They also face off against Lorain in the first round of the OHSAA state tournament on the Feb. 13.