VAN — Only days after senior Karlie LaFauci hit her 1,000-point mark, the Van Junior-Senior High Lady Bulldogs (5-3) played the Scott High Lady Skyhawks (4-9) on their home court. Van and Scott were coming off respective wins and losses in their previous match, and the two cross-county rivals were ready to play hard, regardless of records.

Van started the game out ahead, 11-6 in the first quarter. LaFauci scored 5 points, but sophomore Jazmyn Gibson also stepped up for Van with 6 points off two three-point shots.

Freshman Jenna Butcher, who has enjoyed a breakout freshman season, dropped 4 points to lead her team early on. Butcher scored 4 more in the second, where the Lady Hawks caught up to the home team 18-17, threatening to overtake them. Sophomore Shea Miller hit a three to add to the team’s 11-point push, while her fellow sophomore Gracie Ferrell did well to score 4 of her own.

In the second half of the game, both Butcher and LaFauci showed off their abilities. The Scott freshman added 14 points to her total, with 6 of those coming from behind the 3-point line.

The Van senior, on the other hand, hit 18 points.

Both girls gave their crowds something to cheer for, but in the end, Van’s effort gave them the win.

Gibson scored another three-point shot in the third, hitting 9 points in her first three baskets over the game.

The Lady Dogs enjoyed scoring from across their starting roster, with senior Kensley White, sophomore Alyssa Sampson, and freshman Emma Wilcox doing their part in keeping their squad ahead. All in all, the physical game ended 55-47 in favor of Van.

Scott coach Kevin Harper noted that the contest could have been anyone’s game as it neared its end, but thinness in the roster has hurt the Lady Hawks.

“We’ve been shorthanded for several weeks and have a few girls fighting through injuries, but we just have to fight and close out games and play hard for four quarters,” he explains.

He gave accolades to Karlie LaFauci, mentioning that her skill and senior leadership allows her to take control of games. On the other hand, he lauded Jenna Butcher’s effort, saying she “played as hard as any girl on that court, keeping us in the game on both ends of the floor.”

The coach further says he is glad to have a solid freshman point guard to build on for the rest of the season and the future. Van Coach Stephanie LaFauci was unavailable for comment.

LaFauci led Van with 26 points, joined in the double digits by Jazmyn Gibson with 12. Jenna Butcher led the Lady Skyhawks with 22.

Van (6-3) travels to Montcalm (4-5) on at 3 p.m. on Jan. 25. Scott (4-11) hosts Logan (5-6) at 7 p.m. on Jan. 27.