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Nelson's long-distance touch carries Valley Park past rival Hancock

Nelson's long-distance touch carries Valley Park past rival Hancock


VALLEY PARK • Valley Park girls basketball coach Mike Menley wasn't sure.

Hawks junior guard Jordan Nelson could have cared less.

The pair pondered whether Nelson's seven 3-pointers in Tuesday's 60-49 win over Hancock was a single-game school record.

No one could find out. But it didn't matter.

The fact that Valley Park opened South Central Athletic Association play with a win over its rival was good enough for Nelson.

“This is special because it's against Hancock, our rival," Nelson said. "That's what makes it so great. The win is the only thing that really matters.”

Nelson, who entered play averaging just eight points per game, dusted her scoring average in the opening half on the way to a career-high 21-point performance. She had made only six 3-pointers the entire season.

“She just was feeling it tonight, obviously,” Menley said. “We tell them if you're feeling it to keep shooting the ball. She had a great game. She was open and she got a lot of good looks.”

Hancock coach Laura Werner was pleased that her team was able to rally from a 24-point deficit to make the final score respectable.

“This was a highly-emotional night and we didn't execute after a tight start start,” Werner said. “Coming in, her (Nelson's) stats didn't cause us concern but, as the night went on, we lost track of her and she made some shots. I was proud of my girls for the way they fought to the very end. The deficit was just a bit too much.”

Sophomore forward Shadagha Clouson added 13 points for the Hawks, who improved to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in league play. Delaney Schmidt chipped in with 11 points - all in the first half.

"We moved the ball real well and that paid off," Manley said.

Senior guard April Turner led Hancock (5-4, 2-1) with 19 points.

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