Reeter’s record-breaking sniping keys CHS home sweep Monday

Sophomore breaks Hibner’s Lady Hornets game record with eight 3s

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
Not quite 90 seconds in, Chillicothe High School basketball Lady Hornets sophomore guard Jessica Reeter launches and hits her first of a new team-record eight 3-points field goals during CHS’ 64-33 win over the visiting Lathrop Lady Mules Monday. The eight treys surpassed the seven Jordan Hibner hit in a December 2018 home game against Marshall.
  • Lady Hornets guard bests Jordan Hibner's 2-years-old record of seven triples in a game
  • CHS boys, now 12-4, assured of no worse than .500 season

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

Starting early, but not needing to work late to get the job done, Chillicothe High School basketball Lady Hornets sophomore guard Jessica Reeter fired home a CHS record-setting eight 3-pointers Monday to highlight a home non-conference doubleheader sweep of Lathrop.

J. Reeter had tied Jordan Hibner’s December 2018 record of seven trifectas by the time CHS’ eventual 64-33 triumph was 18 minutes old. She then broke the record a half-minute into the fourth stanza, giving her a game-high 24 points.

Although it came far harder than anticipated, Chillicothe got the sweep when the Hornets – surviving the fabled “trap” game – finally fought off the stubborn Mules 49-42 after trailing as long as three minutes deep into the second half.

The victories advanced the CHS girls’ record to 14-3 and the boys’ to 12-4. Both are assured of non-losing seasons already, a status the girls achieved a couple of games ago and the boys assured with Monday’s shaky triumph. With a minimum of eight games remaining, the Hornets can join the Lady Hornets in assuring a winning final mark with one more victory.

That could happen as soon as tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 2) when the Chillicothe boys visit Kansas City: St. Pius X for a Midland Empire Conference contest. CHS will put a 1-0 MEC mark on the line against a very quick SPX Warriors club, according to the Hornets’ scouting report.

The Lady Hornets will return to action Thursday with a key league game at tough St. Joseph: Benton.

J. Reeter’s historic shooting performance – unofficially she hit eight of the 11 treys she tried, compared to Hibner’s 7-of-12 marksmanship against Marshall when she broke Amber Parker’s long-standing record about 25-1/2 months ago – included sinking two 3s in the first quarter, three in the second, and two more in the first 80 seconds of the third.

Fittingly, her record-snapping eighth – from the top of the key – was set up by a pass from Essie Hicks, just as four of the first seven had been.

The ease with which Chillicothe girls prevailed was anticipated, even though the Lady Mules have a very representative record of 9-8.

After the visitors scored six first-quarter points in a row to take a 7-6 lead midway through the opening quarter, appropriately, a J. Reeter “3” from the key put the home team in front for good.

That basket tipped off a string of nine unanswered Lady Hornets points. After leading 15-7 after one stanza, Chillicothe unleashed a 14-0 run across a 3-1/2-minutes span in the second quarter to claim a 31-11 advantage. Eventually, encompassing both of those surges, the Lady Hornets had a 29-6 stretch from 3:58 remaining in the first quarter until 35 seconds were left in the opening half, providing a 35-13 intermission lead.

Chillicothe then netted 10 of the first 12 points of the second half, mushrooming that extended stretch of dominance to 39-8 in just under 15 minutes of game time.

Statistically, in addition to J. Reeter’s eight trifectas and 24 points, CHS’ girls unofficially had a team season-high seven assists by Hicks only a couple of nights after her career-high 28 points in Saturday’s loss to Maryville. All told, the Lady Hornets unofficially doled out 13 assists, owing to a combination of good passing and on-target shooting.

Even though Lathrop’s extreme aggressiveness in attacking the offensive boards led to an unofficial 16-11 advantage in that stats category for the Lady Mules, they weren’t able to do much with those extra chances. In fact, Chillicothe, by C-T tracking, owned a 14-2 advantage in “second-chance” points in the game.

The Lathrop girls’ offense was paced by Maycee Nichols’ 11 points.

Whereas the girls’ game as a whole and J. Reeter’s successful pursuit of Hibner’s single-game record for 3-pointers didn’t feature any drama, the following boys’ game had its share of uncertainty until the final half-minute or so.

Sophomore Wyatt Brandsgaard of the Chillicothe High School Hornets follows his steal at the other end of the court with a transition layup 20 seconds into the fourth period of Monday’s 49-42 home win over Lathrop. This basket came in the midst of a game-turning 15-13 CHS run that turned a 1-point game into a 13-points Chillicothe lead, its largest of the night. With 11 markers, Brandsgaard was one of three Hornets to score in double digits as the CHS boys mathematically clinched no worse than a .500 season.

Facing a team entering with a 2-11 record, nearly the polar opposite of theirs, the Hornets never could relax until very, very late. Even when a 15-3 stretch of success from the middle of the third period through the first 3:15 of the fourth created a 40-27 lead, it didn’t douse the flames of the Mules’ desire for an upset.

Lathrop netted eight of the next 10 points to be back within seven points with over 2-1/2 minutes still to play, but the CHS boys netted the next five to more or less settle things.

Although they actually led the vast majority of the contest – Lathrop had three 1-point margin late in the first half and early in the second, the Hornets could not forge any separation until that stretch in the third and early-fourth periods.

A couple of 5-points leads – one at the end of the first frame and another about three minutes into the second – left CHS fans waiting for the eruption that would put the presumably-lowly foe in its place, but the visitors lived up to their mascot.

They tallied six points in a row for their first lead at 17-16, traded treys for a 20-19 halftime edge, and swapped deuces in the first 2:05 of the third frame for a third single-point lead.

Chillicothe slipped back in front quietly on two Wyatt Brandsgaard free throws with 4:41 left in the third quarter and then got a defensive end steal from Griff Bonderer and coast-to-coast drive and layup for a 25-22 lead.

After LHS quickly used two free throws to get back within one, consecutive jump shots from freshman center James Mathew – the first a banked 16-footer from in the key when fed by Brandsgaard and the second a nice mid-range jumper from 13 feet off Mason Baxter’s pass – created a multi-possessions margin which would be the rule the rest of the night.

The pair of Mathew shots began the run which created the 40-27 lead with 4:48 left to go, a long run which allowed the Hornets to exhale a bit.

Statistically, Hayden Simmer’s 15 points – 10 of them in the second period – was right on his season average and led CHS scorers. Brandsgaard and Bonderer finished with 11 apiece.

Lathrop’s Nick Knight topped all scorers with 17 points, but he was the lone Mule with more than six.

Simmer and Bonderer grabbed a half-dozen rebounds apiece with Bonderer leading in steals with three and Baxter in assists with four.

As with its girls, Lathrop was very effective in offensive rebounding, unofficially outnumbering Chillicothe there 14-6. The Mules used theirs more effectively than the Lady Mules, unofficially having a 10-3 advantage in “second-chance” points.