CHS offense bogs down in face of Independence: William Chrisman's physical pressure in 43-34 championship tilt in Savannah Invitational Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
SAVANNAH, Mo. — Dictating defensively with its physical style and going on a pivotal mid-game surge, Independence: William Chrisman’s Lady Bear clawed the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS basketball Lady Hornets 43-34 Saturday night (Dec. 1, 2018) to earn the championship of the 44th-annual Savannah Invitational girls’ tournament.
Allowed by officials to make body contact defensively, the stouter Lady Bears used that style to push Chillicothe ballhandlers far away from the basket most of the night, leading to spotty points production from the Lady Hornets, who suffered their first setback of the 2018-19 season after three wins.
In the first half, CHS scored only one field goal inside the 3-point line and managed to be in contention only because it did knock down four treys – three by top sniper Jordan Hibner.
However, after that lone first-half deuce by Maggie Pfaff gave Chillicothe its last lead at 14-13 with 6:45 to go in the opening half, the Lady Hornets did not score from the floor again for more than 14 minutes. By the time they did, it was the first minute of the fourth quarter and William Chrisman owned a 33-22 lead.
That field drought led to the Independence team out-pointing CHS 16-4 in an 8-minutes stretch of the second and third stanzas gave the Lady Bears 31-19 control.
The nearest the Lady Hornets got thereafter was six points with 1:02 left in the game, but the Chillicothe comeback was too little and too late.
Beyond its defensive aggressiveness, William Chrisman was effective and consistently active attacking the offensive backboard, especially in the third quarter. The Lady Bears had three putback buckets in that quarter as they doubled their 24-18 halftime margin to 31-19.
Statistically, Hibner’s four treys produced a team-high 12 points for Chillicothe, but she was its only player with more than eight tallies. William Chrisman did not have a dual-digits individual, but did have three – Tierra Lopez, Jacqueline David, and Amanda Szopinski – net nine points apiece.
A key stat was the defensive shackles the Independence team put on top CHS player Hunter Keithley. She was held without a basket, getting three points at the free-throw line.
Both teams had lamentable games at the foul line – Chrisman making only nine of 22 tries and Chillicothe a slightly-better nine of 17.
Chillicothe has about a week to get ready for its next game – another tough one as it faces Trenton in CHS’ home opener next Friday in a girls’/boys’ doubleheader.