As the first quarter drew to a close, Lee’s Summit North’s Tiana Gipson found herself with the ball on the wing. She fired a pass down low to Micaela Dickerson, who found Alexis Griffin in the lane for a wide-open jump shot.
That pretty much describes how things went for the Broncos on Monday night.
Good passes led to good shots, and North rolled past Lee’s Summit 69-42 at home during a Suburban Gold Conference girls basketball.
Griffin’s basket wasn’t a game-changer — though, it gave North a 21-11 lead that never again dipped below double digits — but it was the best example of what worked well for the Broncos all night.
It also showed why North (6-3 overall, 3-0 Suburban Gold) finished with four players in double figures and found good shots all over the floor.
“We found a lot of different kids to put the ball in the basket tonight,” North coach Tricia Lillygren said. “We keep talking about how passing to the right people will create the right scorers and that happened tonight.”
It happened first for Gipson, who along with distributing the ball swished three three-pointers in the first quarter on her way to a team-best 18 points. Griffin had three baskets as North’s outside shooting fueled an early 8-0 run.
“First quarter, man, they just really found a hot hand,” Lillygren said. “Tiana started the game red hot from the three-point arc, and we still had Alexis put in six points there.”
Gipson, a senior point guard who transferred from O’Hara, said she wasn’t the only one who came out ready to play.
“I think we felt that energy before the game even started,” Gipson said. “In the locker room, we had a good talk about how we wanted the game to go and then that’s how the game turned out.”
Gipson scored 15 of her points in the first half, which helped loosen up the inside in the second half for 6-foot-2 center Aiyana Johnson. After scoring only three points in the first half, Johnson muscled her way to 10 in the third quarter and finished with 17 points.
Outside shooting powered North to a 36-20 halftime lead and that interior presence helped the Broncos stretch that lead to 27 points in the fourth quarter. By the time the benches cleared, Griffin had 13 points and Dickerson also reached double figures with 10.
“Our kids found what was going to work each quarter,” Lillygren said. “We’re just really happy we took better care of the basketball, and I felt our defense was more like we want to see from them.”
Lee’s Summit (1-10, 0-4 Suburban Gold) struggled with North’s defense and another spate of illness that has plagued the team most of the season. The Tigers played without two starters and an ailing Claire Lock, who still managed to score 24 points despite getting sick earlier in the day.
Brooke Benton had 10 points for the Tigers and Eli Childs finished with eight, but they were the only players other than Lock to score.
“It’s just been a little bit of a struggle getting our complete team there,” Lee’s Summit coach Jessica Crawford said. “It’s hard to get some chemistry building when we’ve only played one game this year with everybody there.”