Senior guard scores varsity-career-high 10 points, most on mid-range shots, as Lady Hornets prevail at Maryville 42-31 Wednesday (Feb. 13, 2019)

MARYVILLE, Mo. — While a basketball team with two or three solid scoring options in its lineup generally will experience its share of success, it’s never as dangerous as one that has all five players on the floor being a threat to put the ball in the basket.

During January and thus far in February and especially during Midland Empire Conference competition, in which there are few secrets a team can hide, opponents of the Chillicothe High School Lady Hornets increasingly have chosen to dare quiet senior guard Catey Trout to make them respect her ability to score. Her reticence to look for her own shot or be ready to take it when open, believing teammates might be better suited to score, counterintuitively had made it easier for opponents to make it tougher for those teammates to do so.

However, at her coaches’ urging, the senior has started to make opponents pay for their lack of respect.

Having sparked the team to its game-controlling surge at Savannah last Friday with an undefended basket from 17 feet, Trout tortured Maryville more extensively and repeatedly Wednesday, leading CHS to an eventual 42-31 road victory with a career-best scoring show.

Left mostly unguarded as a matter of strategy by Maryville, which wanted to stop center Kennedie Kieffer down low and Hunter Keithley and Jordan Hibner beyond the 3-point line, Trout  burned the Lady Spoofhounds with back-to-back 17-feet deuces from right of the key in the early minutes, then hit a couple more mid-range looks and two free throws in the second half to post her career-first double-digits scoring night with 10 points.

“Catey impacts the game without scoring. … She’s kind of our ‘glue’ kid,” Darren Smith, CHS head coach, described her in a post-game broadcast interview. “She doesn’t score a lot. She doesn’t look to score a lot, but she has the ability and she showed that tonight. … I was really tickled for her.”

Behind Trout’s early damage, Chillicothe (16-7, 3-2 MEC) held a 6-0 lead and looked to have avoided losing sharpness from another stretch of limited school routine and practice time, due to bad weather and bad roads. However, that proved to be a mirage.

Over the approximately last 12 minutes of the first half, the Lady Hornets added only two field goals and five points – all by Kieffer. Were it not for a combination of harassing defense by CHS and poor shooting luck for Maryville (13-8, 3-2 MEC), the visitors could have been in a significant hole at halftime. Instead, despite netting only one second-stanza basket, they were within 14-11 at the mid-game break.

“We had a good spurt to begin the game with and then we got gassed a little bit,” Smith assessed in his post-game comments. “We were tired and, when we’re tired, we don’t move off our screens as well, we don’t move the ball as well.”

Following what Smith described as significant self-assessment by the CHS players in the locker room at the half, Chillicothe found a higher level of energy and quickly took control.

Trout was right in the middle of the surge, her pass from the right wing finding Kieffer for a right-side lay-in in the opening minute of the second half before, following Keithley’s 21-footer from above the key off a Hibner pass, sinking two free throws to complete a 7-0 Lady Hornets spurt to begin the third stanza.

Maryville never caught up as Chillicothe went on to tally 14 of the first 18 post-intermission points to lead 25-18. The Lady Spoofhounds, who had only three players score all night, edged back to within four three times late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, but never had the ball with an opportunity to pull even or ahead the rest of the way.

Chillicothe eventually salted the win away with a 10-3 stretch over the last five minutes, limiting Maryville to only one scoring possession in that span. The Lady Hornets outscored the home team 31-17 in the last two quarters to gain their third triumph in three tries against the promising, still-young Lady Spoofhounds, who started two sophomores and a freshman.

Statistically, Maryville’s 6’1” sophomore star Serena Sundell unofficially led all scorers with 19 points, but shot well below 50 percent from the floor to get to that total.

“I felt like our defense was really good,” declared Smith, pointing to a reserve’s important contributions in making the MHS standout work extra hard for what she got.

“Magy Thomas came in and gave us great minutes. Understood the (defensive) game plan. Understood what we were trying to do and gave us great minutes defensively,” the coach stated.

Chillicothe’s scoring was led by Keithley’s 11 points. She was held without a basket in the opening half, but drained three treys in the last half. She also earned a team-best five assists, unofficially.

In addition to Trout’s 10, Kieffer barely missed a double-double, scoring nine points and unofficially ripping down 15 rebounds, her first big boards night in a while after having several points-rebounds double-doubles in December.

Finally having been able to get in their MEC game with Maryville after it twice was postponed, due to the weather, Chillicothe’s girls will have back-to-back nights of play, traveling to Cameron Thursday (Feb. 14).

“I told the girls, ‘This is the best Cameron team, since they’ve been playing, that (Cameron has) had,” Smith said, referencing the 8-14 Lady Dragons.