CHS boys pull away from host Hamilton: Penney with 22-4 run in second half, get back in wins column with 58-41 non-conference triumph Jan. 28, 2019

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
HAMILTON, Mo. — With just less than three minutes left in the first half of Monday night’s Hornets-vs.-Hornets clash, Chillicothe (Mo.) HS junior guard C.J. Pfaff made one of his eight steals and six layups off those thefts to flip a 1-point Hamilton: Penney lead into a 23-22 CHS edge. Fittingly, that pair of partnered plays put his team in front for good in what became a 58-41 Chillicothe conquest.
Spurred by Pfaff’s pilferage and consistent conversions, Chillicothe’s red-and-black Hornets shot 64 percent from the floor overall – 78 percent from 2-points range – to eventually outlast a strong first-half perimeter-shooting effort by first-year PHS head coach Justin Joiner’s blue-and-gold Hornets.
Four of the Hamilton team’s five first-period baskets and six of its nine before halftime came from outside the arc, but the home team added only one to that total thereafter. That allowed Chillicothe’s greater scoring efficiency, a good percentage of it generated by a defense that not only created 11 steals, but blocked five shots – all by senior forward Peyton Forck, to put more and more distance between the same-named teams.
Commencing with a quick-trigger trey from the left corner by Westley Brandsgaard off Mason Baxter’s baseline in-bounds pass with 5:20 remaining in the third quarter, Chillicothe (11-6) went on a win-assuring 22-4 streak which lasted more than 10 minutes. Within that, a 6-0 spurt to close the third quarter changed what had been a 27-24 game at the half to a 41-30 one after three. Chillicothe then unwound a 13-0 skein in the fourth period to produce a game-high 22-points lead.
Statistically, CHS’ usual 1-2 juniors punch of Brandsgaard and Pfaff was in full evidence on multiple fronts.
As, understandably, the team’s two most-frequent shooters, they were a composite 17 of 24 from the field (just over 70 percent). Pfaff made all eight of his 2-points tries and Brandsgaard half of his half-dozen attempts beyond 19 feet as they amassed 19 and 22 points, respectively.
Pfaff also had the aforementioned eight steals and a team-lead-sharing (with Hunter Swift) five assists, in addition to being one of three CHS players with a half-dozen rebounds. Brandsgaard and Forck, who also had nine points on 4-of-5 2-points shooting and those five blocks, matched those six boards.
Hamilton (6-9) did not have any scorer reach double figures. Michael Roberts, who hit three of those first-half treys, and Cale Whitt finished with nine points each.
Monday’s game had twice before been postponed, first due to the length of Hamilton’s football season last November and then by weather two weeks ago.
Chillicothe’s boys are to play a fourth game in five nights Tuesday (Jan. 29), making their first-ever visit to new Midland Empire Conference member Kansas City: St. Pius X.
Penney’s boys and girls are to host KC: Hogan Prep Academy Tuesday.