Grain Valley hit a bit of a playoff brick wall in undefeated St. Joseph Benton on Saturday in a Missouri Class 4 girls basketball state quarterfinal game at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence.
The undefeated Cardinals used their trademark tough defense and defeated Grain Valley 45-22. Grain Valley failed to score a field goal in the game’s final 13 minutes.
“The part I was worried about was right. I thought playing offense against them was going to be really hard to do,” Grain Valley coach Randy Draper said. “Their defense is really good. We knew why they were undefeated, and all their players can play defense.”
Three-pointers from Claire Rose and Kendyll Bailey brought Grain Valley to within 24-18 early in the third quarter, but the Eagles managed just four free throws the rest of the way.
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Rose, who led Grain Valley with 13 points and passed 1,000 career points in the game, marked the lone Eagle to make more than one shot from the floor.
Daejah Bernard and Kylee Williams each scored 10 points to lead Benton, 29-0.
“I’m awfully proud of what our players accomplished this season,” said Draper, whose team finished 23-6. “We got to play in a (prestigious) game.”