SMITHERS, W.Va. - Valley protected its perfect record Friday night, not with its far-from-perfect shooting, but because of a perfect blend of scoring balance and pressure defense.
Raeshawn Breckenridge led the way with 11 points and three steals and the unbeaten Greyhounds forced 21 turnovers in earning a 55-41 home victory against Greenbrier West in a matchup of state-ranked Class A teams.
Valley (5-0) entered the game ranked No. 9 in the Class A poll, one spot behind the Cavaliers (6-2).
"We've been preaching to our kids that this was a big game for us sectional-wise because they're in our section,'' said Greyhounds coach Joe McCoy. "The way we seed teams, this could go a long ways for us later on down the road.''
Valley, bogged down by 35.5 percent shooting in the first half, took the lead for good with an 11-2 run to close out the half, good for a 26-18 advantage at the break.
The Cavaliers cut it back to three points near the end of the third quarter, but were never within six points over the final six minutes,
"Their speed and quickness got to us,'' said West coach Joey Fitzwater, who watched Valley swipe the ball 11 times, many of them out of three-quarter-court pressure.
"We knew they'd do that. We played against them some in the summer league at Hico, and I came down and scouted them. They play that 1-2-2 chaser press and we just didn't handle pressure very well tonight. We've got to get people in the right place and run our sets. We tried to play slow and that didn't work and we tried to speed up and play a little man-to-man, but their quickness got us and they got a few easy buckets from our defense not being able to stop them.''
Valley got contributions from up and down its lineup.