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Another Rout for Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Hoops Girls En Route to Lawson Title

Cop tourney crown 64-27 over North Platte Saturday, Jan. 16, behind Bonderer, MVP Jessica Reeter

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
As anticipated beforehand, Chillicothe High School's basketball Lady Hornets completed a dominant run through the 2021 Lawson Invitational Tournament Saturday, defeating North Platte 64-27 in the title game. CHS won each of its three tourney games by at least 28 points. Lady Hornets sophomore Jessica Reeter (1) was voted tourney most valuable player and was joined on the 6-players all-tournament team by teammates Lucy Reeter (30) and Jolie Bonderer ()10).
  • CHS girls face key Midland Empire Conference game at home Tuesday (Jan. 19) vs. KC: St. Pius X
  • Freshman Bonderer hauls down 18 rebounds, scores 13 points
  • Sophomore Jessica Reeter voted tourney most valuable player, netted 22 points in title game
  • Junior guard Lucy Reeter a third Lady Hornet voted to all-tourney team

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

LAWSON — Given they’d won their first two games in the tournament by margins of 60 and 28 points (the latter could have been substantially more, if desired), that the Chillicothe High School basketball Lady Hornets would win Saturday’s championship game of the 2021 Lawson Invitational Tournament by a substantial margin over another smaller-school opponent was virtually a given.

While that indeed transpired, scintillating individual performances by young starters Jessica Reeter and Jolie Bonderer kept the 64-27 CHS drumming of North Platte from being hum-drum.

While J. Reeter pumped in a game- and career-high 22 points on her way to being voted by participating coaches not only to the all-tournament team, but the event’s most valuable player, Bonderer was indomitable on the backboards while producing a scoring-rebounding double-double as the title game’s most impressive player.

Having grabbed one of her 10 offensive rebounds in the game, Chillicothe High School freshman Jolie Bonderer tries to drive to the basket during the second half of Saturday's championship game of the 2021 Lawson Invitational Tournament. Bonderer unofficially ripped down 18 total rebounds to go with 13 points as the Lady Hornets dispatched North Platte 64-27. CHS sophomore guard Jessica Reeter, who had a career-high 22 points in the win, was voted tourney most valuable player.

Grabbing a half-dozen caroms in the opening quarter alone and never slowing down until she went to the bench for keeps very early in the fourth stanza, Bonderer finished with an amazing 18 rebounds – 10 on the offensive end – to go with 13 points. Intriguingly, that meant both Chillicothe teams had a frosh with a points-board double-double Saturday; Hornet James Mathew helped the CHS boys win third place with 13 rebounds and 10 points.

Not surprisingly, Bonderer also was an all-tourney selection, as was a third Lady Hornets underclasswoman, guard Lucy Reeter.

The victory – the CHS girls’ ninth in a row and 10th in 11 games on the season – propels them into a key early game in Midland Empire Conference play Tuesday.

They’ll host Kansas City: St. Pius X that night, looking to avenge a narrow defeat at Kansas City last January and to keep pace with Maryville, which beat SPX 42-38 this past week for the Lady Warriors’ only loss in 10 games. CHS, Maryville, and St. Pius X split the MEC crown three ways last year.

Although Saturday’s championship game ended with a “running clock” margin, that largely was due to North Platte choosing to never fully back off its attacking style of play. Had the Lady Panthers chosen to play at a slower pace to make it a more “respectable” loss, they could have.

With both teams having frost-bitten shooting hands early, nary a basket was made in the first 4:40. A North Platte foul shot with 3:50 on the clock gave it a 3-1 edge at that moment.

Fittingly, when Chillicothe managed the game’s first field goal with 3:18 remaining in the first frame, it came from Bonderer on a drive after she and a teammate each had claimed offensive rebounds to extend the possession.

Also appropriately, when the tie was broken, it was done by MVP J. Reeter. In transition, she smoothly used a hesitation dribble about 15-20 feet from the basket to get to the rim for a left-side, left-handed layup that also drew a foul. She completed the three-points play as Chillicothe claimed the advantage for good at 6-3 with 2:21 on the opening-stanza clock.

Those two plays propelled the Lady Hornets on a 11-2 spurt which threatened to turn the contest into a runaway then and there.

However, to North Platte’s credit, it battled back.

Beginning with Ryann Smith’s defensive rebound and successful coast-to-coast drive, the Dearborn-based team netted eight of the next 10 points to pull within 15-13 by the 6-minutes mark of the second stanza.

At that point, Chillicothe’s superior breadth and depth of talent and its size advantage tilted the scales acutely its way.

J. Reeter’s trifecta from the right wing and another driving basket-and-1 40 seconds later commenced a steady expansion of the Lady Hornets’ lead which never ended until the final horn.

By halftime, the difference was 13 points, 34-21. CHS then netted 21 points in the third quarter before North Platte got its only field goal of the frame with a second remaining in it.

With the “running clock” in use, Chillicothe then blanked the foe until the last half-minute of the fourth quarter while posting its own last nine points. A left-wing trey by sophomore deep reserve Cali Burkhardt capped the CHS points well at 64 points, the second time this season it has hit that figure and one of three times it’s had that many or more. The season high is 73 in Tuesday’s win over Richmond at Lawson.

Statistically Saturday, J. Reeter and Bonderer were the contest’s only twin-digits scorers. Both L. Reeter and Essie Hicks, who missed extensive time with foul issues, finished with eight while both sat out most of the fourth quarter.

Leading North Platte in scoring was Jaylin Burgess with six.

Without Bonderer, Chillicothe and North Platte were dead even in rebounds at 24 apiece. With the freshman’s phenomenal showing, CHS had an 18-boards advantage, including an 18-8 margin in offensive grabs. The Lady Hornets had a 14-4 lead in second-chance points, by C-T tracking, with half of the 14 coming after Bonderer snares.

Unofficially, North Platte did not earn an assist on any of its eight field goals.