PECULIAR — William Chrisman’s girls basketball team had to do more with less Thursday night.
The Bears were without two 6-foot post players when they faced Raymore-Peculiar in the Raymore-Peculiar Sonic Classic. Still, they found ways to score inside en route to a 64-60 first-round win.
“We did a good job of calling for the ball, and then, I knew where they (post players) were when they called for it,” said junior guard Makenzie Erikson, who scored 15 points and was among three Bears in double figures.
Erikson attributed Chrisman’s ball distribution to focusing on offense during recent practices. The Bears (3-5) dissected their offense “to see all of the options.”
“We found a lot of those options tonight,” Erikson said.
Erikson, coach Lindsay Thompson and freshman Bri Burns agreed the Bears compensated well for their dropoff in size.
Chrisman’s “post players – or, our guards pretending to be post players – really stepped up and did a great job,” Thompson said.
“I think we communicated, made sure we were looking for the open passes,” said Burns, who finished with a team-leading 17 points. “Even though we were a little bit shaky on offense, we did our best trying to score.”
Chrisman did well enough to lead much of the way. However, it was tied 18-18 after a seesaw first quarter. Meghan Maher and Taylor Koper, Ray-Pec’s leading scorers, helped the Panthers keep pace. Maher scored 10 of her 22 points that quarter.
The Bears led by double digits during the second and third quarters, but it was a single-digit ballgame when each quarter ended. Chrisman led 34-28 at halftime, aided by junior guard Asia Young, who scored six of her 10 points the second quarter. The Bears led 50-44 after three quarters.
The Panthers edged the Bears 16-14 the final quarter and threatened to pull off a comeback win – or at least force overtime. But Chrisman held on to advance to face Thursday night’s Grandview-Warrensburg winner in the semifinals at 7:30 tonight.
“I don’t think that we played very good defense down the stretch,” Thompson said. “But we played well enough to win, and that’s always exciting.”
Ray-Pec faces the Grandview-Warrensburg loser at 4:30 p.m. today in the consolation semifinals.