Prep girls basketball: Smith-Cotton again fails to hold onto early lead
St. Pius X went on a 17-2 second-quarter run to get past Smith-Cotton 47-34 in West Central Conference girls basketball on Friday night at Smith-Cotton High School.
“We always come out and play defense but in the second quarter we let down,” said Smith-Cotton coach Zach Vandevender. “Our defense is usually so strong but we kind of let up.”
The Lady Tigers led 9-0 after one quarter on the strength of five points from Elena Sharp, six steals — two each by Jack Greer and Megan Lollis — and holding St. Pius to 0-for-8 shooting.
“We came out with a game plan and knew that half-court trap and that zone and where to attack it,” Vandevender said. “We got our shots in our offense and played really good defense in that first quarter.”
In the second quarter, Kirby Lewellyn hit a 3-pointer and a jumper on back-to-back possessions, and the Lady Tigers led 14-3. But they shot 1 for 10 from the field the rest of the quarter, while the Warriors got six points from Rose Monachino and took the lead on a 3-pointer from Danielle Kaullen, who scored seven in the quarter. St. Pius led 20-16 at the half.
The Lady Tigers committed 16 turnovers in the game, including four on consecutive possessions in the third quarter.
“We prepared for that half-court trap all week,” Vandevender said. “They kind of got us up there at St. Pius. We knew where to attack it and we still struggled and forced some passes and that hurt us.”
After a free throw from Sharp opened the third quarter, St. Pius went on an 8-0 run
“In the third quarter, they came out and shot the ball well,” Vandevender said.
The Warriors led by as many as 11 before free throws by Sharp and a steal and layup by Greer got the Lady Tigers within seven (30-23) to start the fourth. But Kaullen hit a basket in the paint early in the fourth and the lead stayed near 10 for most of the quarter.
Greer scored 12 to lead the Lady Tigers, including eight of her team’s 11 points in the fourth quarter. Sharp added 10.
Kaullen led St. Pius (13-10, 6-4 WCC) with 13 points. Monachino added 11 and Bailey Thomas scored 10.
It was the final home game for seniors Greer, Sharp, Lollis, Tayler Gero and Jordyn Kemp.
“That senior group, I’m really proud of them and I’ve enjoyed coaching every minute with them,” Vandevender said. “They’ve put the time and commitment into what I envision what I want my program to be and they’ve done a great job. I’m very proud of them”
Smith-Cotton (12-12, 4-5 WCC) will conclude the regular season at Warrensburg at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Smith-Cotton at Warrensburg
5:30 p.m. Friday
RADIO: 1050 AM
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