CHS cagers swap MEC runaways with Lafayette Wednesday

Lady Hornets win by 30 on road, boys fall by 37 at home

Paul Sturm
Chillicothe News
Senior guard Mason Baxter of the Chillicothe High basketball Hornets gets ahead of the St. Joseph: Lafayette defense for a rare fast-break layup during the first quarter of Wednesday’s 70-31 home loss to the Midland Empire Conference champions. Baxter scored seven points in the game.

Two games with similar tracks – each one with the visiting team being dominant – marked Chillicothe High School’s resumption of varsity basketball play Wednesday after an unplanned 12-days hiatus.

Prevented by the weather and travel conditions from having any games since Feb. 5, when the boys lost in overtime at St. Joseph: Benton, the Hornets and Lady Hornets exchanged one-sided results with St. Joseph: Lafayette, the CHS girls romping 56-26 at St. Joseph and the boys shredded 70-31 at home.

The Lady Hornets’ triumph moved their overall record to 15-4 entering Thursday’s contest at Kirksville. The Hornets, also to visit Kirksville Thursday, stood 12-7 after the loss that clinched, for the Fighting Irish, no worse than a share of another Midland Empire Conference crown.

The Chillicothe boys slid to 1-3 in MEC play and girls elevated to 2-2. For both, the next outing is due to be Monday at Savannah.

Wednesday’s Lady Hornets conquest featured nine 3-pointers by coach Darren Smith’s squad, four of them by freshman Jolie Bonderer.

Not overly surprising, given their layoff from game action, Chillicothe’s girls only scored 10 points – six of them by junior forward Essie Hicks – in the first quarter, but that still allowed them to enter the second with an 8-points lead.

By halftime, the CHS lead was up to 30-11 and a 51-20 spread after three segments meant the “running clock” was in use at the beginning of the fourth.

While Bonderer’s four triples led to 16 points, sophomore point guard Jessica Reeter was the Lady Hornets’ leading scorer with 20. She knocked down three treys herself. Hicks and classmate Ellie Barnett, a reserve forward who pumped in the other two 3s, tallied eight markers apiece.

Even though 14 Chillicothe girls were in uniform and played, only five found their way into the scoring column.

Lafayette’s Lady Irish (8-11, 0-5 conf.) got 11 points from Darcy Bowlin.

The varsity boys’ contest in Chillicothe saw Lafayette produce 70 points even with only two twin-figures scorers and no one netting more than 16.

The Irish (16-7, 6-0 conf.) dashed to a 23-12 lead after one period and increased their advantage to 18, 38-20, at halftime. When they strafed the Hornet 24-4 in the third stanza, the 38-points gap meant the fourth was played entirely with accelerated timekeeping procedures.

Leading the St. Joseph team in scoring was Mikey Thomas with 16 points, including three treys and three deuces. Chipping in 13 was Camden Bennett. Ten of the 11 LHS players dressed out scored.

The Hornets, who were minus sophomore starting post player Cayden Potter and had to start freshman James Mathew in his stead, did not have a double-digits scorer. Hayden Simmer led the CHS boys with nine points and fellow senior Mason Baxter managed seven.

The defeat was the Hornets’ third in a row.

Both Wednesday games had been postponed from 24 hours earlier.