Sept. 9, 2019, CHS roundup: Soccer boys, tennis girls post wins, golfer Jones second in tournament at Maryville

Chillicothe High School varsity fall sports teams in action Monday had profitable days, both in the short and long term.
In a possible prelude to a Class 1 district tournament championship pairing next month, the soccer Hornets got a late go-ahead goal by junior back Dalton Ripley – the first of his fledgling varsity career – to edge the visiting Maryville Spoofhounds, 2-1.
The triumph not only should help the Hornets’ case when it comes to the district tourney seedings, but also boosts them to 2-0 in the early stages of 2019 Midland Empire Conference competition.
While the booters were besting Maryville at home, the tennis Lady Hornets were on the road, but producing the same, successful results they had in two home matches last week.
Keyed by a late charge from No. 1 doubles partners Hunter Keithley and Hannah Zimmerman to claim their set, the CHS girls followed a 2-1 advantage in doubles with a sweep of the top four singles sets as they bested Trenton, 7-2.
While team success was not in the cards – nor was it expected to be for the still-maturing CHS girls’ golf squad, junior ace Hallie Jones did place second in the individual standings of the Maryville Invitational Tournament.
Monday was only a table-setter for an extremely-busy Tuesday of CHS sports.
All Chillicothe High fall varsity teams except girls’ golf and football were slated for action yesterday, with only minor weather concerns, based on the Monday night forecast. Two of Tuesday’s events (cross country running and boys’ soccer) were in town. (For early coverage, visit our website
Chillicothe 2, Maryville 1
The host Hornets’ generally had the advantage in play through the match’s first 55 minutes, but it was not a major advantage and, as time wound down, the clubs were level at 1-1, thanks to Hornet junior Mason Baxter’s third goal of the season off classmate Caleb Vance’s long pass in the match’s 13th minute and a long, bouncing shot by Spoofhound junior Justin Staples not quite 10 minutes into the second half.
As the match wore on in hot, relatively-humid conditions, it became clear Chillicothe was in better condition. Over about the last 15-20 minutes, the Hornets won nearly every 50-50 ball and out-legged the Spoofhounds to long kicks or balls in the open field.
With about 12 or 13 minutes remaining, the CHS control of the ball in the Maryville end of Bob Fairchild Field led to a series of corner kicks for the home squad – all from the offensive right (east) side of the pitch.
Hornets sophomore Ben Cueni-Smith, who’d had a 3-assists outing in Chillicothe’s season-opening victory at Cameron last week, kept driving his right-footed corner kicks toward the goalmouth – the first nearly resulting in the lead goal, a second sailing across the goal where Chillicothe centered it back to the front – only to see MHS clear it upfield, and then a third he tried to bend from behind the crossbar to the front of the net, only to have it clank off the football goalposts upright.
Finally, as the game clock moved toward and then past the 10-minutes mark of remaining time, Cueni-Smith had one more crack at the set piece. This time, Hornets coaches summoned Ripley – one of the team’s tallest players – all the way upfield from his “sweeper” spot as the last line of defense in front of rookie goalkeeper Jaxon Albertson to be among the throng of players in the Maryville penalty area.
The strategy proved perfect. Cueni-Smith’s high kick sailed to the front of the net – not quite to the middle of the goal – and about five yards out from the goal line. As it descended, Ripley made a perfect read on where it would be when he might first be able to, with a jump, reach it with his head.
The corner kick barely cleared a Maryville player’s attempt to get his head on it and, with goalkeeper Hunter Johnson having positioned himself on his line and more toward the goalpost farthest from Cueni-Smith and thus not able to get across to the shorter-distance kick in time to try to leap and grab it or punch it away, the ball thudded perfectly against Ripley’s forward-tilted cranium and cleanly into the net about six feet off the ground. With only 9:49 seconds remaining in the 80-minutes match, Chillicothe had reclaimed the lead at 2-1.
That’s when the fatigue Maryville’s players were feeling became glaring as, despite being in a desperate situation, it spent most of the remaining time trying to chase down the ball as the Hornets possessed it well on the MHS defensive side of midfield.
Even in a 1-goal match, the last 9:49 were stress-free for Albertson in goal as the 10 black-clad teammates ahead of him played something of a game of keepaway to sew up the important triumph.
At match’s end, Chillicothe statisticians had the home team with an 8-4 advantage in shots on frame. The only shot which eluded the Hornets’ sophomore ’keeper was one into the wind which, perhaps slowed and knocked down by the south wind, fooled him by taking a second bounce before reaching him. As he went down to smother what he expected to be a short hop, the second bounce landed a few yards farther in front of him, giving it time to angle up over his right shoulder off the artificial turf and into the net.
Monday’s junior-varsity play also was won by Chillicothe, 1-0. Jackson Reeter tallied the only goal and fellow freshman Carson Steele posted the shutout in goal.
After yesterday’s home duel with St. Joseph: Lafayette, the soccer Hornets return to league play tomorrow, calling on St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond.
Chillicothe 7, Trenton 2
At Trenton High’s courts, a closing surge by the Zimmerman/Keithley combo to capture No. 1 doubles tilted the scales in Chillicothe’s favor and it rode that momentum through the subsequent singles action.
With CHS’ No. 2 doubles pairing of Macy Cavanah and Delaney May already having stayed undefeated as a duo by an 8-2 count, but Trenton in the process of winning the No. 3 doubles 8-5 over Chillicothe’s Megan Sisson and Leah Lourenco, whichever team took the tight No. 1 doubles action was going to be uplifted going to singles.
Facing the THS tandem of Lexi Gott and Kendall Crowley, Keithley/Zimmerman struggled to mesh through the first half-dozen games or so. Finally, though, coach Bob Long reports, the Lady Hornets began clicking, first pulling even at 5-5 in the pro-8 format set (first to win eight games with a lead of at least two games) and then stomping the accelerator to take the next three games, as well, to close out an 8-5 victory.
Once singles action got underway, Chillicothe – in contrast to some of its matches last week – dominated.
Both Keithley – playing “mistake-free” tennis in the No. 1 spot against Gott, Long relates – and May, who “seemingly played perfect,” in the CHS coach’s view, posted shutout victories, while Cavanah was rocketing past her No. 2 foe 8-1. With those three triumphs, the Lady Hornets clinched the team win.
For good measure, Zimmerman took the No. 3 singles 8-4 and Lourenco prevailed in what Long labeled a “back-and-forth battle” in No. 6 position, 8-6.
The lone Trenton victory in singles came at Sisson’s expense by an 8-4 count.
By adding singles successes to their doubles win, both Cavanah and May remained undefeated overall this still-young season.
The non-conference triumph boosted Chillicothe’s overall team record to 3-0, entering yesterday’s Midland Empire Conference dual at St. Joseph against Lafayette.
Monday’s junior-varsity sets at Trenton all went Chillicothe’s way, the coach reports.
Freshman Cami Carpenter won a singles set 6-0 and combined with sophomore Olivia Anderson for a 6-4 decision in doubles. Also in doubles, sophomores Julietta Keller and Hailey Fahling were victorious 6-2.
Maryville Invitational Tournament
Chillicothe’s debut tournament of 2019 saw it take its 4-players contingent to the Mozingo Lake layout at Maryville for team play using “best-ball” scoring and individual medalist stroke play.
With half of its roster involved in an 18-holes tournament for the first time, Chillicothe didn’t figure to score all that well in the team competition and it didn’t, placing sixth out of seven teams in those standings.
However, junior standout Hallie Jones played her usual, consistent game of mostly pars and bogeys.
Paired, for the team competition, with classmate Gabby Hapes, Jones produced the duo’s best score on all 18 holes, shooting a 42-47–89. That was good for second place in the medalist standings, although nine strokes behind Maryville’s Emily Long.
While the Jones-Hapes tandem was producing a “best-ball” score of 89, sophomores Brooke Williams and Quincey Jessen were splitting up the counting “scores” on their round. Eventually, Jessen had their best score of seven holes, Williams had it on four, and seven times they matched numbers. In the end, it added up to a “best-ball” round of 65-73-138.
When added to the Jones-Hapes 89, Chillicothe’s team score was 227, 47 back of team winner Maryville. St. Joseph: Lafayette took second with a 198, 18 shots off MHS’ pace, and St. Joseph: Benton was third at 207.
In terms of their personal 18-holes scores, Hapes’ 139 put her 27th out of 36 players in the individual standings. Jessen shot a 145 (29th) and Williams a 150 (32nd).
The Chillicothe golf girls have another tournament scheduled for tomorrow, this one hosted by St. Joseph: Central. The Lady Hornets will have their first home competition – weather permitting – next Monday in a 4 p.m. match at Green Hills Golf Course against Hamilton and Southwest Livingston.
CHS football ‘C’ squad pulls one out Monday
Chillicothe High School’s football “C” team traveled to Willow Brook, south of St. Joseph, Monday to face Mid-Buchanan’s “B” team and, with a last-seconds touchdown, came home with a 24-21win, CHS coach Roman Cranmer reports.
Trailing 21-16 with under 90 seconds to go, the “C” Hornets’ defense pounced on a “Mid-Buck” fourth-down fumble around midfield.
With the clock down to about 15 seconds remaining and the ball still at the MBHS 45, CHS freshman Griff Bonderer lofted a pass which found the waiting hands of Max Wagers and allowed him to reach the end zone with only 5.8 seconds on the clock.
The young Hornets successfully converted for two with a run by freshman Cayden Potter to set the final margin.
The winner was the second final-frame scoring connection Wagers made with Bonderer. Staring at a 21-8 deficit, the duo combined for a TD, after which Potter also ran in the  conversion to cut the gap to five, Cranmer shares.
A Brock Miller 6-yards run for the Hornets 29 seconds before halftime was the game’s only pre-intermission scoring. Cranmer notes two CHS fumbles were converted into Mid-Buchanan touchdowns in the third period before the hosts tallied a third-straight time early in the fourth to widen their lead.
Defensively for Chillicothe, Wagers had a second-quarter interception and Potter both forced a first-period fumble and added a sack late in the second stanza. Miller pitched in a “pick” and a 13-yards return.