MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2018, CHS SPORTS ROUNDUP: Tennis Hornets regain winning ways, soccer Lady Hornets stroll to seventh triumph, and baseball squad falls in St. Joseph tournament. Golf weathered out of conference tourney

After a cold start to the day on the heels of Sunday precipitation prompted the postponement of the scheduled Midland Empire Conference boys’ golf championships at Maryville, Monday afternoon brought a pair of Chillicothe spring sports victories over Cameron.
First, on the road, the tennis Hornets snapped a 7-matches losing streak, winning for the first time since their season opener with a 7-2 verdict over the host Dragons.
Not long after that varsity action concluded, Chillicothe’s soccer girls completed a clear-cut 5-1 home conquest of Cameron, the Lady Hornets’ seventh win of the season in nine matches.
On the “down” side, Chillicothe’s baseball Hornets did not hold onto a 3-0 lead in their opening-round game in the Pony Express Tournament at St. Joseph, allowing St. Joseph: Benton two runs in the fifth and two in the bottom of the seventh to lose 4-3.
While the MEC golf tourney was prevented from taking place as scheduled Monday, it is reset for tomorrow (Wednesday, April 18, 2018) at the challenging Mozingo Golf Course at Maryville.
While Chillicothe’s mostly-young links squad doesn’t figure to be a factor in the team competition, senior Hayden Montgomery could make a strong run for a top-5 and perhaps a top-3 finish, individually.
Tuesday’s Chillicothe sports slate is due to include the boys’ and girls’ track and field teams at the Cameron Invitational meet at 3 p.m., the boys’ golf and tennis teams visiting Trenton for 4 p.m. matches, the soccer girls at Maryville at 5 p.m., and the baseball Hornets will try to snap their 4-games skid as they face Kansas City: Park Hill’s junior-varsity in the consolation semifinals of the Pony Express Tournament at St. Joseph’s Bartlett Park field at 4 p.m.

Booters Get First 2018 Non-Shutout Win
CHILLICOTHE, Mo. — After each of their first six victories of this season had come on shutouts, Chillicothe’s soccer Lady Hornets won Monday even when allowing the opponent to score.
By the time Cameron’s Arli Smith won a race to a loose ball with Lady Hornets goalkeeper Kennedie Kieffer and chipped it over her into the vacated goal midway through the first half of Monday’s match, the home team already owned a 3-1 lead en route to a 5-1 triumph.
The Lady Hornets (7-2) scored less than five minutes into the non-conference match at Chillicothe’s sunny, but brisk, Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II and tacked on goals in the ninth and 13th minutes, as well, to seize command.
Top scorer Sarah Graves, used sparingly after a bruising three matches in two days in a tournament over the past weekend, made her time productively, netting her team-high 11th and 12th goals of the season and earning her second assist.
Harlie Jones scored for a second-straight match, joining Addie Ficken in posting her second goal of the season. Jones’ senior classmate Morgan Grable netted her third goal of 2018, as well.
Sydney Baxter’s long, well-placed free kick from midfield sprung Graves in, 1-on-1, with the Cameron goalkeeper in the fourth minute and the Chillicothe sniper easily won that duel, earning Baxter her second assist of the year.
Five minutes later, Graves, about 45 yards from the Cameron goal, drove a hard, low pass up the middle just as Jones accelerated two Lady Dragons backs. That let Jones run onto the ball for her own 1-on-1 showdown with the ’keeper, one she won with a right-footed shot to the far, right goalpost from 20 yards out.
Perfect pace and measurement by Ficken produced a 3-0 lead four minutes later.
The junior right midfielder had a Cameron defender’s clearing attempt from the Lady Dragons’ penalty area come right toward her, about 22 yards to the offensive right of the Cameron net.
Without worrying about settling the ball, Ficken instead 1-timed it with her right foot, producing a lofted shot which carried just over the reach of the short Cameron ’keeper while descending just below crossbar height as it reached the goal line. The unassisted goal made it 3-0, Chillicothe, only 12-plus minutes into the match.
After Cameron got on the board almost exactly halfway through the 40-minutes first half, the Lady Hornets re-expanded their margin to three goals when backup midfielder Callaway Chapman sent a ball ahead to the center of the field near the Cameron “18.” There, Grable not only got to it in the midst of several defenders, but also with the goalkeeper overaggressively charging out after it. The Lady Hornet dribbled the ball around the diving ’keeper and, in the 28th minute, delivered it easily into the empty goal, handing Callaway her first varsity assist.
Up 4-1 at intermission, Chillicothe rotated reserves in liberally throughout the match after playing three times over the weekend and having back-to-back playing dates as this week began.
Returning to the pitch for the start of the second half after resting most of the last 30 minutes of the opening segment, Graves teamed with senior back Mykel Heese for a highlight-reel goal in the 11th minute of the second half.
With Cameron trying to press on offense, right inside back Heese stepped up to intercept a pass and drove the ball high and far upfield. The ball sailed over the visitors’ defensive backline and Graves got to it with only about 35 yards of 2-tone green artificial turf between her and the Cameron goalkeeper.
As she dribbled the ball a couple of times during her advance, Graves used body positioning to shield the ball from one retreating defender. Shrugging free of that player’s attempt to grab her arm 14 yards away from the net. When the ’keeper guessed wrong that that near-entanglement would allow her time to dash out and reach the ball before Graves could catch up to her most-recent touch, the Lady Hornet tapped the ball with her right foot past the diving goalie and, from four yards away, just to the offensive left of the goal, pushed the ball softly home with her left foot for her second goal of the day and No. 12 on the season. Like Chapman earlier, Heese gained her first 2018 assist for her setup.

Clean Sweep of Doubles Sent Netters on the Way to Win
CAMERON, Mo. — With one of two injured regulars back in action, the Chillicothe tennis Hornets used a sweep of the doubles play as a springboard for a 7-2 Midland Empire Conference dual-match victory over the host Cameron Dragons Monday.
While Brenden Nelson remains out of commission, fellow sophomore Grahm Mayers was back on the court after missing last week’s tournament at Kirksville and that stabilized the Hornets’ lineup just enough to handle the Dragons.
Technically, after the reunited No. 1 doubles entry of Tyler Maasdam and Noah Crowe cruised to an 8-2 victory over David Beasley and Tyler Anderson, the first-time No. 2 combo of Seth Batye and Mayers posted an 8-5 verdict, and usual No. 3 partners Matt Callen and Gunnar Young won 8-4, Chillicothe’s win-clinching set victory was delivered by No. 6 singles player Batye.
According to Hornets head coach Bob Long, the junior won eight of the last 10 games to claim a decisive 8-3 conquest which gave Chillicothe a 5-1 lead in position sets. Maasdam had snared his first-ever No. 1 singles win by then, besting Beasley 8-4 for the fourth Chillicothe win.
For good measure, Mayers recorded his first-ever varsity singles triumph, 8-4, and, finally, Young claimed a tiebreaker on the 12th point in his No. 5 set to prevail 9-8 (5).
Chillicothe’s boys (2-7) go to Trenton today (Tuesday, April 17) for a 4 p.m. rematch with the Bulldogs. THS blanked CHS 9-0 during last week’s tournament at Kirksville.

Baseball Hornets’ Woes Extended
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Chillicothe’s baseball Hornets returned Monday to the venue where their season-opening 4-games winning streak was snapped, hoping to see their current losing streak similarly terminated.
Facing the tournament host St. Joseph: Benton Cardinals at Phil Welch Stadium, Chillicothe posted three early runs before faltering late and losing in walk-off fashion, 4-3, according to a published report.
The St. Joseph News-Press reported online Monday night that Benton scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to close the gap, then tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a double and won it with an infield single that scored a man from second base.
No other information on the game was available at the time of his posting.
Other first-round results in the tourney Monday included Savannah waxing Kansas City: Park Hill’s junior-varsity 13-3, St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond cruising past Maryville 12-2, and St. Joseph: Lafayette besting Cameron 8-1.
Chillicothe and the Park Hill jayvees are to meet in a consolation semifinal at the Bartlett Park field in St. Joseph Tuesday at 4 p.m., according to the tournament bracket.