Blue Valley North girls put pressure on William Chrisman in 78-34 rout
By SAM McDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Blue Valley North junior forward Maria Klug referred to the team’s halfcourt trap as somewhat of a secret weapon.
It’s still a weapon, but it’s certainly no longer a secret.
Implementing the defense for the first time this season, Blue Valley North forced 32 turnovers Friday in a 78-34 rout of William Chrisman in the Hy-Vee Shootout at Avila University.
Blue Valley North’s trapping style limited William Chrisman to 23 shot attempts in 32 minutes.
"We haven’t used that yet, but we thought we’d give it a try," Blue Valley North coach Ann Fritz said of the halfcourt trap. "Once we had some success with it, we stayed in it."
It may become a permanent fixture now.
The Mustangs, 3-1, forced at least seven turnovers in every quarter, most of them coming in the backcourt, making for easy looks at the basket on the offensive end.
Caroline Dupont finished 7 for 7 from the field — with all seven buckets coming inside the paint. Maria Klug added 16 points on 11 shots, and Christian Keys scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds.
For the game, Blue Valley North shot an even 50 percent.
"Our defense turns (into) our offense," Klug said. "When we forced them to turn it over, it just made it a lot easier for us on offense."
The Mustangs’ defense also limited the touches of William Chrisman senior Nieka Wheeler. The Bears’ leading scorer at 20 points per game, Wheeler attempted only three shots and finished with seven points while battling foul trouble. Sophomore post player De’Jionae Calloway led the Bears with 10 points and four rebounds.
William Chrisman, 4-3, actually shot 58 percent from the field, but more than half of its possessions ended without a shot attempt.
"We’ve been focusing a lot on our defense — we take a lot of pride in making them work," Fritz said. "They’re really buying into that."
Olathe East girls 44, St. Teresa’s Academy 35
A few pointed words from Olathe East coach Clint Evans was apparently all it took for the Hawks to turn a two-point halftime deficit into a comfortable second-half margin.
Those words, according to junior point guard Regan Stone, were focused on a better effort on the defensive end.
"He gave us a little pep talk at halftime," Stone said. "He was pretty (ticked) about our defense."
Olathe East held St. Teresa’s Academy to four points in the third quarter, using a 14-4 run to build an eight-point advantage.
"We started forcing them to the baseline and keeping them out of the middle of the court," Stone said.
St. Teresa’s opened the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run, pulling within four, but the Hawks responded with a 6-0 run.
Three players finished in double figures for the Hawks. Haley Henson and Molly Taitt each scored 12 points, with Taitt also grabbing eight rebounds, and Stone added 10 points.
St. Teresa’s forward Becca Lueke led all scores with 16 points.