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TO THE CUP: Valley junior forward Ana Magby puts up a shot against LaFayette defenders sophomore Alahbra’J Todd and senior Daylan Wright. Magby finished with 21 points. Photo by Rashad Milligan

Valley comeback falls short at home against LaFayette, Greer goes for 39 and 19

VALLEY – The Feliah Greer show continued on Thursday night at Valley High School.

After three quarters of head-to-head battle, the sophomore forward took over down the stretch.

“I’d like to say it’s all coaching, but heck, she’s a special player,” LaFayette girls head basketball coach Michael Bratcher said. “Big-time players make big-time plays. [Valley head girls basketball coach George Grimes]’s whole focus was to be on her, not to let her have anything, and she ends up with 39 points. When they are focused on no one but her, for her to score 39 in this type of an environment against a 5A school, that’s big.”

Greer finished the night with 39 points and 19 rebounds. The performance came two nights after she posted 51 points and 21 rebounds against Booker T. Washington.

“She’s still just a human,” Grimes said. “She had 39, but it was still a well-earned 39. She’s a great player, it was her night, and we got her last week [Valley defeated LaFayette 42-39 on Nov. 20.]”

The Rams cut the Bulldogs’ lead down to one with 3:20 to go in the ball game. Greer made a defender fall from her spin move at the top of the key, drove into the lane and knocked down a right-handed layup through the contact for another three-point play opportunity. The Valley cheerleaders attempted to distract her with the chant “you can’t shoot!,” but Greer sunk the extra free throw anyway to increase LaFayette’s lead late in the ballgame.

“She wants the ball in crunch time,” Bratcher said. “I had to tell her one time to not to try to do too much. Then, she’ll do something like that, and you’re just like ‘okay. You go girl.’”

Valley applied full-court pressure against the Bulldogs, denying in-bound passes to Greer in the final minute. The packed VHS gym crowd stood on its feet after plays like Ana Magby putting a LaFayette defender on the ground after a crossover, or when Arteria Florence continued to make big shots to keep the game close in the final moments.

Both Magby and Florence finished the game with 21 points each, and Star Core also finished in double figures with 10 points in the effort.

LaFayette’s second-scoring option Ebony Williams dealt with foul trouble throughout the game, but she still finished with 12 points in the win for the Bulldogs.

The crosstown matchup returns to Valley High School on next Tuesday, Dec. 4.