Subdue Maryville 64-32 on road Tuesday to match 1992-93 CHS girls' squad at 19-1 through first 20 games. Chillicothe now 4-0 in MEC.
MARYVILLE, Mo. — Chillicothe High School’s basketball Lady Hornets played at something less than peak efficiency tonight, but still had more than enough to improve their season record to 19-1, just the second time in program history a CHS girls’ basketball squad has begun its season with a single setback in its first 20 outings.
Never trailing and tied only at the opening tipoff and when Maryville answered a CHS trey with a three-points play for a
3-3 knot in the first two minutes, the Lady Hornets doubled up the host Lady Spoofhounds 64-32 to advance their Midland Empire Conference-leading mark to 4-0.
Maryville, continuing to show improvement under former Trenton High coach Quentin Albrecht as the season moves along, went to 6-15 overall and 1-4 in the MEC.
Chillicothe’s girls will be back on the home hardwoods Thursday night, welcoming Savannah for a 5 p.m. tripleheader of freshman, junior-varsity, and then varsity play. CHS swamped the Lady Savages by 32 in an early-season clash at SHS.
“They’re young, they’re athletic, and they’re long,” Smith says of the Lady Savages. “Those are three things that make them hard to guard, No. 1, and a little unpredictable.”
Should Chillicothe's girls clear that hurdle, they'll visit St. Joseph: Lafayette next Tuesday for the game which likely will decide this season's MEC girls' champion. A few nights after CHS had turned the trick, Lafayette slipped local archrival and defending conference champion Benton 41-37 tonight to remain undefeated in league play.
The CHS girls’ triumph at Maryville – their 12th in a row since sustaining their lone loss thus far this season at Columbia: Hickman Dec. 22 – was not in any doubt, even though the hosts ended up scoring more than the average the Lady Hornets usually allow.
“I thought that, for the most part, we kept our intensity and focus,” Darren Smith, Chillicothe head coach, reflected in his post-game broadcast interview. “We gave up more points than what I’d really like to, but, like I told the girls, sometimes the other team just makes some shots.”
Entering the action, this year’s CHS foes were averaging just less than 30 points a game.
“Defensively, I just feel like we’re so much better this year than we have been in the past that, every game out, I don’t want to give up more than 20 points,” Smith said with a slight chuckle, “but that’s just not real realistic.”
Still, at halftime, the Lady Hornets’ “D” wasn’t far off that 20-points pace, having the Lady ’Hounds tripled, 36-12. At that point, Maryville had had only five scoring possessions.
Chillicothe threw a hammerlock on the game in the late moments of the first quarter and then through the first half of the second stanza.
Having run off 11 consecutive tallies in the initial segment after MHS had tied it 3-3, the Lady Hornets answered America Auffert’s three-points play late in quarter No. 1 with an
18-2 surge which created a 24-points gap, 32-8.
Even Maryville’s trying a couple of “gimmick” defenses in the first half failed to slow down the CHS express.
“They went diamond-and-1 on ‘Whit,’” Smith noted of a specialty defense MHS tried to slow Lady Hornets All-State wing player Whitney Clampitt, “and ‘K-Bob’ and Karson and Hannah I think all hit 3s,” he referenced long-range baskets by CHS’ Katelyn Parkey, Karson Keithley, and Hannah Jones.
Eventually, all four of those players would score in double digits, led by Clampitt’s 15. Parkey netted 14, Han. Jones 13, and K. Keithley 11.
Ahead by two dozen at halftime, the visitors pushed their margin as high as 27 markers around the mid-point of the third quarter before Maryville had its best stretch of the night.
Down 44-17, the Lady Spoofhounds actually outscored CHS 13-12 over a span of about seven minutes to keep the “running clock” (30-points or more difference in the last quarter) out of the equation until late.
Finally, a CHS lineup heavily populated with reserves produced an 8-0 run on Mikah Clark’s 18-footer, Emma Leam-er’s free throw and three-points play off a Jalynn Reeter setup, and Karly Gardner’s putback to expand the margin to 64-30.
Just ahead of the final horn, Maryville reserve Vanessa Klotz scored to set the final score at the mathematically-neat totals.
Statistically, while Chillicothe put four scorers into dual digits, Maryville’s top points producers of the game – Felicia Shiel and Abbie Greeley – had nine each.
Unofficially, the Lady Hornets limited their turnovers to only about five, while having more than twice than many assists.