Now 6-3 on season after 68-35 win Monday

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

TRENTON  •  North Central Missouri College’s Ketcham Community Center remains a “home away from home” for the Chillicothe High School basketball Lady Hornets. Junior forward Maggie Graves saw to that just before 2012 segued into 2013 Monday night.
Rebounding machine Graves nearly had a double-double by halftime and finished with a career-best 23 points and 11 rebounds as the Lady Hornets came within a whisker of doing something they had not done in virtually 10 years during a 68-35 victory over Schuyler County Monday.
The Chillicothe girls’ eighth-straight win in the NCMC Foundation’s High School Holiday Hoops extravaganza over the past four years also was its 12th in its last 13 games in the event, and 13th in 16 contests all-time in the eight years of the Christmas-break competition.
“I’m pretty pleased with them,” head coach Rachael (Lowe) Parkey said of her team’s showing in the two games at Trenton. “We’re not where we want to be, but it’s only the end of December, beginning of January. Hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll get right where we want to be and performing at the level we want to be at.”
Monday's contest saw CHS narrowly miss producing 70 points in a game for the first time since a 74-73 defeat by Excelsior Springs in February 2003. Parkey (then Rachael Lowe) was one of that team's stars (scoring 17 points in that game) and Karen Jackson, mother of current CHS senior Madison Williams was ending her first season as head coach at her alma mater on that season-ending occasion.
Chillicothe’s girls now will dip their toes in to test the 2012-13 Midland Empire Conference waters tomorrow (Thursday) night when they welcome St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond for the MEC opener. Bishop LeBlond won its own tournament last Saturday with a 7-points victory over Maryville, a team the Lady Hornets topped by 19 on a neutral court in the CHS season opener.
“They’re going to be a tough game, a tough team to play,” the CHS coach forecast in her post-game broadcast interview Monday. “They’ve got Tyler Reed that scores quite often for them and then Danielle Beers – she’s a pretty good little ballplayer.
“We’re going to have our hands full, but I fully expect the girls to come out ready to play and do some damage.”