Chillicothe HS Basketball Boys Drop Tourney Opener to Maryville, 51-42
Hornets’ long-range shooting falters after sharp start at Cameron; will face KC: Northeast Thursday
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
CAMERON — Maryville’s fourth-seeded Spoofhounds took advantage of a 4-minutes-plus scoring drought by the Chillicothe High School basketball Hornets to take the lead late in the first half and never gave it back Tuesday, eventually using a game-ending string of 8-consecutive points to claim a 51-42 first-round victory in the 33rd-annual Cameron Invitational Tournament.
Having trailed most of the game’s first 12 minutes, thanks to hot early CHS perimeter shooting, Maryville moved in front 21-19 on a putback off one of its unofficial 11 offensive rebounds in the game with 1:50 left in the second period.
Although CHS’ Hornets made a strong push late in the third quarter and in the first half of the fourth after falling behind by as many as eight points twice in the third period, it never made up all of that ground.
Hayden Simmer’s bank shot from eight feet to the right of the lane off an in-bounds pass from Griff Bonderer with 3:17 to go in the game pulled Chillicothe within 43-42, but proved to be the Hornets’ last scoring of the game.
Another MHS second-chance basket after a missed free throw with 1:18 to play and two subsequent Spoofhounds steals that turned into points pushed the final spread out to a game-high nine points.
Explained Tim Cool, CHS head coach, in a post-game broadcast interview, “We need to go from side to side and inside out (on offense). We went away from that and made it way easier for them to guard us. We were (moving the ball to) one side of the floor and a shot.”
“The things that are hard to coach are kids who don’t try and we don’t have that,” he shrugged off the uncharacteristically “loose” offensive approach of his team. “We’re so fortunate with that. We can fix the execution part.”
With the loss, Chillicothe’s boys shift into the tournament’s consolation bracket, where they will face Kansas City: Northeast Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Northeast was drilled by top seed Columbia: Battle 76-16 Tuesday.
Also sent to the consolation side Tuesday was host Cameron, nudged aside 48-45 by third seed Smithville.
Tuesday’s other game was a girls’ quarterfinal contest won by the host Lady Dragons, 72-48 over Northeast.
Chillicothe’s third-seeded girls rematch with No. 2 seed Smithville Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
At the CHS-MHS boys’ game’s outset Tuesday, dead-eye Chillicothe shooting from outside the 3-points arc twice led to 6-points Hornets leads.
The Hornets’ first five field goals – three by Bonderer and two by Wyatt Brandsgaard, including a bank shot from the top of the key – created, first, a 12-6 advantage and then a 15-9 margin for CHS.
However, Cool sensed that the early success with a more free-wheeling, quick-shooting approach, a style needed to win last Saturday’s game against a pressing Camdenton team looking to play an up-and-down game, lured his team into an approach not destined to succeed against more of a half-court foe like Maryville.
“We knew making plays was how we were going to try to win (Saturday’s) game,” the coach reflected. “Today was more about running our ‘stuff’ (offense), running plays.
“We made some plays early and I kind of think it went to our head a little bit and we just kept trying to ‘make’ plays and kept trying to ‘make’ plays and, when you do that against a good defensive team, a team that’s back (on defense) and set, it just doesn’t work. They’re in great defensive rebounding position and we have no chance for an offensive rebound when (the ball’s shot) on the first side (it’s moved to). Little things like that. The execution wasn’t there all night for our guys.”
Maryville’s defensive adjustment to stay closer to Bonderer and keep him away from the ball as much as possible on the offensive end helped lead to only three more Hornets treys the rest of the way – all of those in a 4:40 span late in the third period and through the middle of the fourth when CHS made its ill-fated final push.
Statistically, Brandsgaard’s 17 points on 6-of-9 overall shooting led all scorers. However, the remainder of the Hornets were a composite 10 of 32. After the early success from long range, Chillicothe faded to 32% luck for the full game.
Maryville’s scoring included 12 tallies each by Caleb Kreizinger and Keaton Stone and 10 from Caden Stoecklein.
Two key numbers which tipped the contest the ’Hounds’ way were them unofficially having only eight turnovers, compared to the Hornets’ 15 (by CHS statisticians and this reporter), and a 7-0 MHS advantage in second-chance points, keyed by its 11 offensive boards.
The game saw only 12 free-throw attempts, a mere two by the Hornets.
“It was a good game for us to be in,” opined Cool, obviously looking ahead to the style of play generally found in the approaching “meat” of the Midland Empire Conference schedule. “It was a physical game, but I think the officials realized there were two teams that were good kids just competing and so I think they could let it be a little more physical and knew that nobody was going to cross the line and doing something dumb, so they let them play a little bit, and that was okay.”