PLEASANT VALLEY — Both the Weaver girls and boys won in remarkably similar fashion over Pleasant Valley on Friday night.
Pleasant Valley held both games close to start, then Weaver took control late to get huge victories. The boys came out victorious 71-44, while the girls took home a 71-40 win.
Weaver boys 71, Pleasant Valley 44: In the boys game, the Bearcats overcame a first half filled with foul trouble for Shamar Spinks to race out to a 27-point win.
“When (Spinks) sat out that first half, I think it did take us out of a little bit of a rhythm, but our guys weathered the storm,” Weaver coach Marcus Herbert said. “It did hurt us a little bit, but I think the other guys contributed off the bench, and they did a great job.”
Pleasant Valley managed to keep it close throughout most of the game, even drawing within eight points at 49-41 in the fourth quarter.
Thanks to a few forced turnovers and Spinks finally shaking off the rust from a first half without much action, the Bearcats closed the game on a 22-3 run to secure the victory in their first Class 3A, Area 11 matchup.
“If they played like that for the first three quarters, we shouldn’t have to come out and play scrappy ball in the fourth quarter,” Herbert said. “Our defense should be our offense, honestly, that should be the majority of our points. I’m pleased with the fourth quarter how we played. That’s Bearcat basketball.”
Robert Gaines scored 20 for Weaver, while Spinks finished with 10. Joshua Ballew led Pleasant Valley with 16 points.
Weaver girls 71, Pleasant Valley 40: After a scrappy effort from Pleasant Valley kept the Raiders in the game, trailing by four after the first quarter and 10 at the halftime break, a big second half from the Lady Bearcats propelled them to a win.
“(Pleasant Valley) is well-coached and scrappy. They’ve got a good basketball team,” Weaver coach Gary Atchley said after the game. “We showed the second half that we took advantage of what they were giving us.”
Weaver’s Caleigh Cortez came out of the locker room on fire in the second half, scoring nine in the third quarter to break the game open.
Cortez was the star of the game, finishing with a near triple-double at 24 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
“I’ve coached that girl for four years in a row now, and she keeps amazing me,” said Atchley of Cortez. “I don’t know if there is a better guard in the county. I’d put her up against anybody. She’s the returning 1A-3A player of the year, and she’ll fight for it again this year.”
Haley Homesley had a double-double with 16 points and 11 boards in her first start on varsity, and Maleah Foster chipped in 14 points of her own.
Brooke Perry got a double-double of her own for Pleasant Valley, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Emma Hood added 10.