Maya Brewer showed off a full array of offensive basketball skills during the first quarter on Thursday.
Brewer, a North Kansas City senior, hit a three-pointer, crossed-up a defender on a drive for a layup, sprinted the floor for a transition floater, grabbed an offensive rebound for a put-back and eventually ended the quarter with 13 points.
However, it was her defense that clinched the Hornets’ 55-51 win at William Chrisman in a showdown between two of the Kansas City area’s top girls basketball teams.
Brewer made a key block and grabbed a crucial rebound in the final 45 seconds, helping North Kansas City improve to 19-2.
“We’ve been preparing and preparing to play them, and I’m just so happy we won,” Brewer said. “It’s a really big rivalry, and we really wanted this game.”
Brewer led all scorers with 17 points, hitting three free throws down the stretch after sitting most of the third quarter in foul trouble.
“Maya’s really put it together on both ends of the floor this year,” North Kansas City coach Jeff Lacy said. “We rely on her. She’s our best player and senior leader, and she’s the one we look to when we need plays the most. She came up with the big block and rebound at the end.”
Brewer’s first-quarter outburst spurred North Kansas City to a 21-11 lead, and the Hornets eventually built a 13-point cushion early in the third before William Chrisman started a comeback.
William Chrisman, which fell to 17-5 , outscored North Kansas City 14-4 ending the third quarter and eventually got within 48-46 midway through the fourth.
The Hornets led 51-48 when Brewer made her block.
“I just saw it, and I just went for it,” she said. “It’s the chance of the game.”
Lacy credited Brewer’s first quarter as the main reason his team came away with the win.
“In the long run, that jump-started us for the rest of the game,” he said. “Maya is definitely one of those players, when she gets out in the open floor, there’s not a lot of players that can stop her. And that’s what happened early.”