Fast Start Lets Chillicothe Basketball Lady Hornets Notch Second Win of Season

CHS’ 18-0 run in first quarter powers Wednesday 56-26 victory over Platte County in Savannah tourney

As reported to C-T
  • Brooke Horton has 12-11 points-rebounds double-double. Jolie Bonderer has 12 points, nine boards
  • Chillicothe will meet host Savannah for consolation honor Friday at 5:30 p.m.

SAVANNAH — Chillicothe High School’s basketball Lady Hornets might have paid attention to their male counterpart’s Savannah Invitational Tournament game Tuesday, at least enough to restage it an evening later, just with a role swap.

One night after the Hornets scored the first two points of their game against Savannah, only to surrender the next 13, eventually rally to threaten to make a game of it, and then lose by the game’s widest margin, the Lady Hornets reenacted almost-precisely that scenario, except taking the opposite role.

CHS’ girls fell behind Platte County 2-0 after their opponent’s initial possession, answered with a double-digits string of their own points – 18 in this case, saw their seemingly-comfortable lead of 16 points eventually shrink to as few as six, and then pulled away again to claim a 56-26 conquest in the consolation semifinals of the tournament.

By virtue of the triumph, the Lady Hornets (2-1) will clash with the host Savannah Lady Savages for consolation honors Friday at 5:30 p.m. Savannah turned back Kansas City: Southeast *** immediately prior to the CHS girls’ win Wednesday.

In Platte County's Lady Pirates, Chillicothe was facing a foe which, last January, had played the Lady Hornets within 54-48 in the opening round of the Bulldog Classic tournament at Kearney. That PCHS squad had started a lone senior and was led in scoring in the loss by a freshman who came off the bench to tally 17 points and a sophomore starter who netted 14.

However, neither of those two double-digits scorers are on the 2020-21 Platte County roster and it has shown in the Lady Pirates’ first two outings, both blowout losses.

Against Chillicothe, PCHS tallied first with a pair of free throws, then not only didn’t score again for more than five minutes, but had little success stopping the Lady Hornets.

Freshman Jolie Bonderer’s scintillating, junior-grade “Dr. J” drive from the right wing to under the backboard for a scoop-shot, reverse layup tied the game on the second CHS possession. Essie Hicks’ quick conversion from about four feet in mid-lane of Jessica Reeter’s baseline in-bounds pass gave the Lady Hornets the lead the next time downcourt and CHS was in high gear.

Brooke Horton’s free throw, Bonderer’s 8-footer from the paint after one of unofficially nearly 20 Chillicothe offensive rebounds, Hicks’ stickback, Horton’s right-side lay-in, Lucy Reeter’s cutting layup set up by Horton’s high-post feed on yet another second-chance opportunity, Selby Miller’s quick-trigger left-of-the-key trey, and Ellie Barnett’s pick-and-roll layup finish – each of the last two shots set up by Hicks passes – added up to an 18-0 sprint that springboarded the Lady Hornets toward victory.

Down 16, Platte County almost surreptitiously attempted a comeback, inching closer and closer as the opening half wore on.

Having closed the first frame with seven points in a row of their own to get within nine, the Lady Pirates sweetly banked in a left-wing trifecta and followed with two deuces as a slow-paced second stanza began to wind down. That second 7-0 mini-spurt left Chillicothe owning only a 23-17 lead.

The Lady Hornets staunched the loss of lead in the final minute before halftime as Horton hit a jumper from right of the lane of J. Reeter’s assist and then set about reestablishing control of the action following intermission.

When Bonderer cashed in L. Reeter’s “dime” with a left-of-the-key triple, Horton softly kissed a 5-feet, turnaround, fallaway shot off the window from the right block, and Bonderere followed a free throw with another CHS stickback, Chillicothe had registered the game’s last 10 points and Platte County effectively had been disposed of.

Ahead 37-21 going to the last stanza, the Lady Hornets put up 15 of the game’s last 17 points to technically initiate momentary use of the “running clock” timekeeping provisions in the last minute.

Statistically, the balanced CHS girls were led in scoring by Hicks’ 13 points, one more than the solidly-improved Horton and precocious Bonderer netted. Miller provided another eight off the bench. Platte County had seven points from freshman reserve Lydia Doole.

Unofficially, Chillicothe earned a 47-27 margin on the backboards with Horton registering a double-double with 11 boards and Bonderer just missing with nine. The Lady Hornets unofficially had an 11-2 advantage in second-chance points off their nearly-20 offensive snares.

They also held their turnovers total to under 10 by C-T count.