Cousins Tori Moll and Brandi Vallely have been teammates and friends for a long time. They played together on travel and rec basketball teams since they started playing the sport.
However, when it came to scholastic basketball, Moll went to High Point Baptist Academy while Vallely head to Oley Valley High School.
But in this, their senior years, the cousins are reunited on the Oley Valley High School girls’ basketball team and both are having great seasons.
Vallely leads the team in scoring for the second straight season, averaging 16.6 points a game. Moll is third on the team, averaging 6.9 points a game.
Both have led the Lady Lynx to the Berks County League semifinals, after Oley defeated Muhlenberg in the quarterfinals Feb. 8, 38-24.
The Lady Lynx battled in the semifinal round where they took on Fleetwood on Feb. 12. Due to our press deadline, we are unable to report the results of the contest.
The cousins both have basketball in the blood. Vallely grew up with two sisters, Danielle and Nicole, who also played basketball, so it’s not real surprising that Brandi’s playing as well.
Tori has two younger brothers, Tate, an eighth grader at Oley Middle School and Joshua, who is playing in the Oley Youth league.
“It (basketball) brought our families closer together because we’re always together for practices and games,” said Brandi.
In fact, both Tori and Brandi ware coached by their fathers for their travel team. That’s not always easy on a player.
“I think it has good and bad,” said Tori. “It’s really cool because he’s my dad and I kind of know what he expects.”
“When you come home after a game, you’re still getting the blame,” said Brandi. “You hear it the whole car ride home.”
The two played together for so long, they just automatically click on the court. They know each other and know where the other one will be on the court. It just comes naturally for the two seniors.
Of course it’s been a while since the two have played together, but when they got back together this season, it was like they were never apart.
Brandi said that if one needs help ,they know that they can count on the other one to help them out.
“She’s just there, and I know,” said Brandi.
For Brandi, being able to play with her cousin again brings back the old memories. What’s also nice is that both of their families can come see the same game, and not go in two different directions.
“Senior night was pretty cool,” said Tori.
One might think that there will be a little bit of rust and confusion at first, since they haven’t played together in a while. However, they seemed to pick up right where they last left off.
Tori felt that it was an easy transition for her, but she was a little nervous at first. However, in the long run, it did all work out.
“Being able to play with Brandi again was not a concern,” said Tory. “I wasn’t worried about that. Getting brand new teammates is always tough. Of course, Brandi was one player that I knew. I knew where she was going at all times. I could read her well, so that helped a lot.”
Tori will admit that the difference going from a private school to a public school is huge. She went from 12 people in a graduating class at High Point, to somewhere in the neighborhood of 130 at Oley. That was a big adjustment.
“Overall, I love it,” said Tori. “I think I adjusted really well and I’ve made some really great friends and I get to play basketball with Brandi.”
The two seniors are the co-captains and leaders of the Oley team. Tori took the other guard spot when Courtney Dunn graduated last year.
“Tori’s gone beyond that role,” said Brandi. “She’s a great leader out there. I would have been the only senior that was out there if she hadn’t joined the team.”
When Brandi said that Tori’s gone beyond what she expected, she was referring to her defense. She forgot how good of a defender Tori can be for her team. She sees it every game now.
“She’s a really calm player,” said “Tori. “That really helps me because she never gets hyped up like I do. That helps me a lot”
Brandi is going to attend Muhlenberg College next season, but she doesn’t know what her major will be. Tori is going to major in special education, but is not sure what college she’ll be attending next fall
No matter what happens from here, the memories they’ve created this year will be one that neither senior will ever forget
Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on Twitter @writersprtsBT