Any time Adreon Bell is on the basketball court, she looks like a football player diving for a fumble any time a basketball gets loose.
The William Chrisman point guard is not afraid to dive into or over other players to get a loose ball and she also takes her her fair share of licks when opponents try to beat her to it. That happened in Monday’s 47-17 rout of Blue Springs in the Lee’s Summit North Invitational when she leaped for a ball rolling in the paint on the Bears’ side of the court.
She got possession but paid a price as two Wildcats landed on top of her, one on her head. Bell laid on the floor for a minute or two holding her head before walking off the court under her own power.
“You can’t be laying on my head like that!” Bell shouted to a Blue Springs player.
Will that keep her from diving on the court in the future? Not a chance.
“No. I kind of like getting on the floor,” Bell said. “It’s a big hustle thing. People are reaching down when I’m on the floor. It’s just a momentum thing.”
Added Chrisman coach Scott Schaefer: “Oftentimes, you have kids like her attempt to make a play that most people don’t expect. That’s just the way that she plays.”
That comes with the territory for the scrappy senior. Her tenacious defense and hustle plays are often replicated by the other four teammates. That was the case Monday.
Whomever Bell guarded during the game had trouble advancing the ball up the court, let alone just hanging onto it. Bell led the team with five steals and was a significant reason for Blue Springs’ 25 turnovers.
“She’s probably our best off-ball defender,” Schaefer said. “She sees the court and anticipates where the ball is coming.”
The Bears’ team defense held the Wildcats below single digits in both halves. Chrisman led 14-2 after one period and 32-8 at halftime. They led by as many as 31 and carried 44-13 edge into the fourth.
Janelle Acevedo hit a couple of early 3-pointers and played great defense in her own right in her first year as a starter.
“I expect a lot from her,” Bell said of Acevedo. “I’ve been playing with her forever. So to have her out there with us is just great. She steps up when you need her, so I feel like along the road she will get even better.”
The Bears had all nine rotation players score in the game led by Bri Burns with nine. Mikahla Jaggers added eight and Sarah Erickson had seven. For Blue Springs, Emily Baldwin scored 10 of Blue Springs’ 17 points as her injury-plagued team struggled to get anything going offensively.
“Our post, Reggie Kanagawa, has a knee banged up and Mariah Tauai, who broke her arm last year, broke her arm again during the third day of practice,” Wildcats coach Mark Spigarelli said. “That hurts because we weren’t real deep to begin with.
“We had 29 turnovers or something like that and you aren’t going to beat anyone turning the ball over that much. I thought we got pressed and we got rattled. It was 14-0 before we even knew what was going on.”