Lee’s Summit West girls basketball coach Jeff Hardin said his team came out like it hadn’t played a game in 10 days.
It hadn’t, so the Titans had a little rust to shake off. Once they did, West rolled against snake-bitten Lee’s Summit 70-39 during a Suburban Gold Conference matchup Tuesday at West.
West (11-2 overall, 5-0 Suburban Gold) took the floor for the first time since a 53-37 victory Jan. 13 at Blue Valley. While the Titans never trailed after opening the game with an 11-2 run, sloppy ball-handling and frigid shooting kept them from building on that lead.
“We were kind of sluggish,” Hardin said. “But once we got our energy up, we were able to put a little pressure on them and it kind of made the difference.”
Lee’s Summit (1-14, 0-5 Suburban Gold) remained in striking distance at 26-18 until West found its groove and ended the second quarter with a 9-0 run. West senior guard Sydnee Kemp, who led all scorers with 20 points, kicked things off with basket and ended the run with an and-one off a twisting shot.
“It’s good to have the rest, but we were being stagnant not playing in a while,” Kemp said. “We just had to get back into the flow of things, having game speed.”
Kemp’s basket was the second of back-to-back buckets off turnovers and provided West with a 35-18 halftime lead. The pressure continued in the third quarter, which started with a 16-3 West run that put the Titans up 51-21. The Tigers had 10 turnovers in the third quarter and 24 for the game.
“When we can play downhill like that, it’s pretty good,” Hardin said, “because that’s when our shots start falling and we’ve got enough post presence that teams can’t just leave (the guards) one-on-one necessarily.”
Lee’s Summit got a career-best 19 points from Mikeya House, but the Tigers had to deal with another setback on what so far has been an illness- and injury-plagued season.
Senior guard Claire Lock, the Tigers’ leading scorer and playmaker, injured her right hand breaking her fall when she slipped on some ice the morning before the game. Lee’s Summit coach Jessica Crawford said X-rays showed no broken bones, but the hand was badly swollen.
Lock, who missed seven games after suffering a knee injury in the Tigers’ season-opener, played sparingly and in obvious pain after entering the game in the second quarter. She finished with seven points.
“For her to go out and try to play just shows how tough a kid she is,” Crawford said.
West also got 13 points from
Marisa Ritchey scored 13 for West and Lesley Lovelace added 10 points during the team’s 10th win in the last 11 games. The Titans now will be busy after their long layoff, playing five times during the next week.
Kemp and the Titans were just glad to put this one away quickly.
“The quicker we go, the quicker the game is over,” Kemp said. “A lot of us have homework, so wanted to get our job done.”