From the moment she got out of bed to the time she walked onto the court at William Chrisman High School Thursday night, all Bears forward Jacque David could think about was the highly anticipated matchup with Suburban Middle Seven rival Fort Osage.
“It’s all I’ve thought about all day,” said David, whose double-double – 19 points and 11 rebounds – paved the way for a surprisingly easy 55-25 victory over the Indians.
“The game had everything – they’ve become one of our best rivals; they have Kiyley (Flowers, one of the most highly recruited guards in the metro area), who I play AAU ball with; Coach (Lindsay) Thompson used to coach here; there was a great crowd. It had everything!”
But a textbook, clinic-like first quarter led to the mercy-rule victory as the No. 6-ranked Bears improved to 12-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
With David dominating in the paint and guards Amanda Szopinski and Gia Moore hitting from long range, the Bears ran off to an 18-0 lead with just three seconds left in the period.
That’s when Flowers hit her lone basket of the night, a bank-shot 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
And it didn’t get any easier for the Indians as they trailed 29-9 at halftime and 55-25 after three periods.
“I thought it was going to be a great game, and it turned out to be a great game for us,” said David, as she mingled with fans from both Chrisman and Fort Osage and many of the Indians players. “I was really concentrating on getting rebounds and scoring inside. I think that was a key tonight because they don’t have any big players inside, so we wanted to score a lot under the basket.”
Which they did, as the Bears grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to the Indians’ 3. Chrisman held a commanding 42-11 rebounding edge, which dictated the pace.
“I’m so happy for our girls because they have worked so hard this season,” Bears coach Scott Schaefer said.
When asked what he was thinking about during the dominating first quarter, Schaefer grinned and said, “Actually, I was thinking about the inside shots we were missing. But we did a much better job the rest of the game. They beat us last year, with many of the same cast of characters, so this is a big win for our girls.”
When David wasn’t scoring in the paint, she was draining 15-foot jumpers from the baseline.
“Honestly, I don’t really work on my jump shot,” she said, smiling. “I work hard inside though. I want to get every rebound and do my best to get offensive rebounds (she had five) and put them back in the basket.”
Schaefer, a veteran coach who knows that one day David will square off against an opponent who shares her 6-foot frame, said, “Our rotation this season has been a solid seven, and occasionally we can grow to nine.
“A lot of our players are specialists, but they are getting added playing time, and improving their overall game, which will lead to more minutes. There are going to be games where there is a solid matchup for Jacque, and we’re going to need a strong presence from our outside game.”
Moore hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points and Szopinski added nine points. Jennifer David added 11 points for the Bears.
Thompson was direct and to the point after the loss as her Indians fell to 5-7 and 2-2.
“As much as we’ve grown the past couple of years, we still have a lot of room to grow,” said Thompson, a graduate of Fort Osage and the former Chrisman coach. “It’s frustrating, though, to play like this at this point of the season.
“We’re missing the glue that holds a team together, but we’re going to go to practice and work hard tomorrow. You know me, I don’t give up.”
Hailey Chase, the Indians tallest player at 5-11, led Fort Osage with nine points.