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Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Basketball Lady Hornets Quickly Get Another Winning Streak Started

Following early-week halt of 9-games skein, post second victory in two nights Friday at Marshall

As reported to C-T
Essie Hicks, Chillicothe High School junior forward, hits a tough shot in the lane against Trenton during a December 2020 game. At Marshall Friday, Hicks led CHS for a second-straight game with 16 points as the Lady Hornets raised their record to 12-2 with a 60-36 romp.

MARSHALL, Mo. — One streak meant another for the Chillicothe (Mo.) HS basketball Lady Hornets Friday.

Following an early-week setback to Kansas City: St. Pius X that stopped a 9-games string of victories, the Lady Hornets backed up a home triumph over East Buchanan the night before with a 60-36 domination of host Marshall.

The new “streak” of consecutive victories was virtually assured when the Lady Hornets (12-2) answered a Lady Owls try that cracked the scoring ice with 16 unanswered markers. Treys by Jolie Bonderer, Essie Hicks, and Jessica Reeter and a three-points play by Hicks spiced the 5-minutes splurge that created a double-digits spread that never dwindled to single figures afterward.

“We shot the ball well tonight from several different spots,” Darren Smith, CHS head coach, told a post-game online interviewer.

“I thought we got it to the right place at the right time and that’s something this team just keeps getting better at is finding each other and getting it to their teammate at just the right time.”

Eventually, paced by J. Reeter’s four triples, five Lady Hornets got involved in dialing long-distance nine time.

“When we spread it out like that, with several different girls hitting them, that just makes us that much harder to guard,” Smith stated the obvious.

Among those participating in the outside sniping for a second-straight night was sophomore reserve Cali Burkhardt, who hit a long set shot in each half.

“She’s got a quick release, she’s got height, she’s got length, and she’s just a really good shooter,” Smith praised.

After their blazing start led to a 16-4 lead after one quarter, the Lady Hornets moved their margin to 18 points before the middle of the second. That was the gap at the half before it grew to a game-high 25, 53-28, entering the last stanza.

The 12-2 start is the Lady Hornets’ best since they opened the season 21-1 four years ago en route to a 25-3 finish.

Exactly when and against whom they’ll try to add a 13th victory to their 2020-21 resumé apparently is uncertain after reports were received Friday evening that a second of seven girls’ teams originally slated to participate in the coming week’s Cameron Invitational Tournament has been forced into a temporary COVID-19 quarantine/shutdown.

Tournament officials already had revised the girls’-division bracket once. If the number of available teams is down to five, seemingly the only viable option remaining would be for the five to participate in a full round-robin-format tourney with no predetermined championship contest.

With four solid squads – Maryville, Smithville, Cameron, and Chillicothe – among the five, that could make for a highly-entertaining week of games, since a single loss early in the week would not necessarily eliminate the beaten team from title contention. A 5-teams round-robin schedule would involve only 10 total games, whereas a normal, 8-teams bracketed tourney routinely has 11 or 12 total (depending on if there’s a seventh-place game. The round-robin format also likely would allow for scheduling flexibility to eliminate having a school’s girls’ and boys’ teams playing at the same time in the two available gyms, if the host school sought to front-load the schedule as a hedge against weather-caused postponements.

The biggest drawback could be the four games the girls’ teams would have to play in six days right before three of them head into the heart of their Midland Empire Conference seasons.

Regardless of how the action gets set up, Smith predicts, “It’ll be tough. Whoevever comes out of it (with the title) is going to earn it.

“We look forward to going and seeing what happens.”

Statistically at Marshall Friday, the Lady Hornets’ scoring was led by Hicks for a second game in a row. Her 16 tallies were two more than J. Reeter’s with freshman Bonderer adding 11.

Unofficially, junior guard Lucy Reeter matched six rebounds with her six points, in addition with three assists. J. Reeter unofficially led with four assists.

CHS unofficially earned 14 assists to only three for MHS.

Marshall’s scoring was led by Kate Donnell’s 15 points and Emma Schulte’s 12.