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Defense helps offense in JB Hoops Valvano victory

WILKES-BARRE – The JB Hoops Valvano defense played so well Wednesday night that it made it easy for the team to concentrate on ironing out some offensive issues on the other end of the floor.

JB Hoops held Valley Thunder without a field goal after the game’s first six minutes, turning the second half into a chance to work on its half-court offense during a 36-11 victory at Wilkes University.

Victoria Toomey

“Offensively, we were looking for a little more precision with our offense in terms of timing with our screens on the ball and off the ball,” JB Hoops coach Corey Valvano said. “We’re looking for precision passes; making sure we’re cutting hard.”

JB Hoops held Valley Thunder scoreless for the final 10:05 of the first half while scoring 18 points for a 26-7 lead. It then flustered the Valley Thunder, which missed all 20 field goal attempts in the second half to end the game without a basket in 26:05.

After getting nine points off the transition game in the first half, JB Hoops stopped looking for the running game. It ran through its offense throughout the second half, trying to fine tune its game.

“This group has done a great job in moving the basketball, especially in transition,” said Valvano, who is preparing the team for the Blue Chip Challenge Friday through Sunday at Spooky Nook in Lancaster County. “We kind of wanted to settle it down and work on our half-court game because some of the teams we’re going to play this weekend will be able to contain what we do in transition.”

Victoria Toomey from Dunmore led JB Hoops with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. She scored 10 points in the first half and hit her first shot of the second half, making her 5-for-5 to that point.

Hannah Smith

“We have a certain amount of things we’re trying to work on, like communicating and cutting hard,” she said.

Valvano said it is important that all the players understand each of the offensive options.

“We wanted to get all these sets in for this weekend for another opportunity to showcase themselves in front of a plethora of college coaches and also test themselves against some top talent to see where they’re at,” he said.

While working on polishing the team offense, individual skill development continues. In Toomey’s case, that’s adding to her offensive moves. The lefty spun and hit a right-handed shot in the lane in the first half while she was scoring 8 points in the 18-0 run.

“I’m definitely trying to strengthen my right hand because I’m a lefty and I usually go to the left,” said Toomey, a sophomore post player who is also trying to become a more effective outside shooter. “During high school season, I want to be able to go both ways.”

Hannah Smith added eight points, three assists and three steals in the win. Lisa Tallo had six points, Erin Worzel six rebounds and Lauren Charlton three blocked shots.

Valley Thunder did not have a player score more than three points.

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