WHEATFIELD | Kankakee Valley's offense called to spread the ball around.
Valparaiso just called Grace Withrow's number.
The sophomore scored the first 15 of her team's second-half points, including all seven in the third quarter as the Vikings won their girls basketball season opener 39-37 over the Kougars.
"There were some points I was getting frustrated because not all of my shots were falling," Withrow said. "I just tried to keep a positive attitude because we needed to win."
Withrow finished with 22 points and five steals.
She also had three assists, as she helped the Vikings score their first 10 points of the second quarter and had a hand on 12 of her team's 16 second-quarter points. She hit seven straight points with a 3-pointer and two quick field goals, then assisted on a 3-pointer by Kassie Feczko and a two by Yasmin Carrillo.
"We've got seven sophomores on varsity and we want them to learn how to win," Valparaiso coach Jeanette Gray said. "We want to eliminate what makes us lose. When we get up nine like we did in the second quarter, we need to build on that, not give it away."
Bethany Jansma helped Kankakee Valley to its late first-quarter run, hitting two of four free throws and led her team with four points at halftime.
Lauren Stokes launched KV's comeback in the second half with seven points in the third quarter to tie Valpo 28-28 heading into the fourth quarter. Stokes, one of eight Kougars juniors, led her team with 12 points.
"We've got to eliminate turnovers," said K.V. coach Ryan Myers, whose team had 26 turnovers to Valpo's 21. "We knew from our game last year, it could go a couple of possessions either way."
Ashley Norberg added nine rebounds for the Kougars.