Ashley Bundren is only 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She must have seemed much taller to Odessa.

Ashley Bundren is only 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She must have seemed much taller to Odessa.
The diminutive guard had the game of her life with a career-high 23 points in leading host Grain Valley past Odessa 54-43 Friday night in the Class 4 District 14 championship game.
The Eagles claimed their first district title since 1981, avenged two earlier season losses to Odessa, won at least 20 games for the second consecutive year and advanced to a sectional meeting with Notre Dame de Sion at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Lee’s Summit High School. Sion beat O’Hara in the Class 4 District 13 finals Friday night.
Bundren’s big game – she was averaging eight points a game – came at an ideal time. Leading scorer Taylor Lipps didn’t play the final 17 1/2  minutes after suffering a head injury in attempting to take a charge from Odessa center Ashley Zeih late in the first half.
“I hadn’t been doing well,” Bundren said. “I was really pumped up tonight. I wanted to help the team to get a district title for the first time in 28 years. It was the biggest win of the season. It was a team effort. Everyone stepped up. I couldn’t have been more proud.”
Bundren hit 5 of 10 shots, including two 3-pointers, and sank 11 of 12 free throws. The other three baskets came on drives.
Her four free throws in the final 40 seconds clinched the victory and capped a 13-3 run after Odessa (18-7) pulled to within 41-40 with 3:52 remaining.
“She did a great job,” Broughton said of the sophomore guard. “Our seniors (Jessica Robb, Shelby Johnson) also stepped up. Jessica had as good of a second half as she has all year and Shelby did a good job defensively.”
Add it all together and Broughton said it was his biggest victory in his three years at the school.
“It was pretty significant (win) because we hadn’t done it in 28 years (district title),” Broughton said. “We had played them man before and were badly outrebounded in the second loss (65-51). Tonight we played zone (2-3). We wanted them to shoot from the outside and rebound.”
Lipps was happy the Eagles will play on.
“I was trying to take a charge,” she said of how the injury happened. “Coach asked me at halftime I could play and I told him it was best for the team if I didn’t. I still felt a little dizzy. It’s the third time (head injury) it had happened this season. Everyone stepped up.”
A foul-filled, fast-paced game was up for grabs until the Eagles went on the decisive run late.
The Eagles (20-7) led 29-24 at halftime and then fell behind 34-33 after three quarters. But over the final eight minutes they outscored Odessa 21-9, sinking 13 of 18 free throws in the process.
“We worked really well as a team,” junior guard Whitney Broughton said. “We played really good defense and knew we had to beat them.”
The Eagles shot 14 of 40 from the field, had just 14 turnovers and were outrebounded only 29-27.
Odessa helped to seal its fate with seven of its 19 turnovers in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs shot 12 of 40 from the field. Zeih led Odessa with 14 points.