WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Forget "sophomore slump," Spring Valley's talented sophomore class has sent the girls basketball team surging toward this year's State Tournament.
The Timberwolves boast three sophomore starters, with several more in key reserve roles, who not only perform adequately, but excel despite their youth. That has Class AAA No. 2 Spring Valley primed for success now and in the years to come.
"It's a good feeling to know the future is good, but we think we can also win right now," Coach Bo Miller said.
Point guard Sarah Kelly leads the talented sophomores in true fashion as the squad's floor general, directing traffic and commanding opponents' attention.
"She sees the court extremely well," Miller said. "Nobody sees the court like she does. We live with her throwing it away sometimes, because we know she's going to make the good pass nine out of 10 times."
In Spring Valley's 75-45 dismantling of Winfield Thursday, Kelly finished with 13 assists without playing a minute in the fourth quarter. In addition, Kelly finished with 18 points, six steals and four rebounds.
As the point guard, Kelly said she understands the responsibility of her position and the necessary mentality to succeed.
"Just to keep your cool and play like an upperclassman," she said. "Play with the fast-paced game."
Because of Kelly's ability to excel in the fast pace, as well as her teammates, the Timberwolves (16-2) have averaged nearly 68 points per contest this season.
Some of the main benefactors of Kelly's quick decisions and smooth passes are sophomore starting forwards Madison Morris and Brooke Heck. Each player finished with a double-double in the team's win at Winfield.
Kelly said the trio developed a lot of their experience as freshmen playing in place of injured upperclassmen.
Miller added the players are not new to the spotlight either playing for the school's exceptional volleyball program, as well as a stringent AAU schedule.
"I think they've played enough basketball, and they've all played state championship volleyball, so that helps their confidence," he said.
"They've all been on the big stage before. They've played AAU, traveled to big tournaments, so I think they responded well to that."
Beyond the three starting sophomores, seniors Mackenzie Morris and Emily Butcher round out the starting lineup.