The Sandy Valley boys basketball team looked to run their win streak to two on Dec. 18 when they hosted the Conotton Valley Rockets in a non-conference showdown.
The Rockets won all four quarters Tuesday night and cruised to a 67-51 trouncing of the Cardinals despite a big night from Sandy Valley junior, Nate Shepler.
The Rockets jumped out to a 16-11 advantage after the first eight minutes of play and continued to pour it on. Conotton Valley continued to extend its lead in quarter number two and took a 34-27 lead at the break.
The Rockets outscored the Cardinals 33-24 in the second half to really blow the game open and seal the victory at the final score of 67-51.
The difference in the contest was free throw shooting. Sandy Valley sent the Rockets to the line 29 times and they converted on 20 of those attempts compared to the Cardinals going 9-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Leading the way for the Cardinals was Shepler, who poured in a game high 31 points, including four treys. Also scoring for the hosts was Andrew Lancaster with eight, teammates Austin Neisel and Nick Miller carded four points and Tyler Hunter added three points and six boards.
Walker Grossman chipped in five boards and a team high three assists.
For the Rockets, Brandon Robin and Zach Lyon each put 18 points while teammate Brandon Bailey chipped in with 16.
Conotton Valley held the rebounding advantage at 28-20. As a team, the Cardinals made 18 of their 42 shot attempts while the Rockets made 22 of 49.
Sandy Valley led the turnover game with 11 compared to the Rockets six. Fouls were a major stat in the game as the Cards committed 22 compared to Conotton Valley who only had 13.
The boys returned to the floor on Dec. 21 when they traveled to IVC rival Strasburg to take on the Tigers in the first of five straight road games during the holiday season.
The Tigers narrowly defeated the Cardinals by the final tally of 37-32. Stats were unavailable at press-time.
The following evening, they were back on the big yellow bus as they headed to Indian Valley to take on the Braves in a non-conference bout.
It was the same storyline as the Braves dominated all four quarters in a 63-51 non-conference game.
Indian Valley took leads of 16-15 after one, 29-21 at the break and 49-38 after three to really extend its lead, although Sandy Valley out rebounded the Braves by the tally of 33-30.
Leading the way for the Cards was Zach Schlimm, who came back from injury to record 20 points and seven boards to lead the team in both categories. Also chipping in for the Cardinals were Shepler with 14, Neisel with five, Grossman with five and Lancaster with three.
The three-game week gives Sandy Valley an overall record of 2-6 and 1-3 in the IVC. The boys return to the hardwood twice next week for two non-conference games. On Friday, Dec. 28, the boys will travel to Kidron Central Christian to take on the Comets at 6 p.m.
They will be right back on the bus on Dec. 29 when they travel to Tuslaw to take on the Mustangs in a non-conference showdown. Tip-off is also set for 6 p.m. The Cards will return to IVC competition on Jan. 4 when they travel to Garaway to take on the Pirates.