Things started badly for William Chrisman Monday night. Then they just got worse.
An injury-depleted roster left Chrisman short-handed for its girls basketball game at home against Raytown, and the Blue Jays took advantage. They buried the Bears with a 13-0 run to start the game, and that was that.
Raytown 52, Chrisman 29.
“We kind of got an old-fashioned rear kicking at the start of the game,” Chrisman coach Scott Schaefer said. “We felt we had to play zone because of the people available to us and they took advantage of that situation.”
Chrisman (13-11, 7-4 Suburban Middle Seven) looked nothing like a team that had won seven straight games. Injuries had something to do with that, especially with senior forward Jennifer David, Chrisman’s leading scorer, unable to play.
So the Bears opened with a zone defense, and Raytown (13-10, 8-4) shot over it. Three of the Blue Jays’ first baskets were 3-pointers and they would finish with eight from behind the arc.
Chrisman did score eight straight after Raytown’s opening run, but the Blue Jays led 18-9 at the end of the quarter. That lead ballooned to 33-13 by halftime when Raytown outscored the Bears 15-4. Chrisman’s four points all came on free throws; the Bears missed all 11 shots from the field in the period.
And they didn’t fare much better in the third period: Chrisman made only one basket the first six minutes of the quarter and trailed 42-19 going into the fourth. Raytown led by as many as 25 points in the final period.
“We were limited a little bit with personnel with what we could do offensively as far as what we’ve been used to all year,” Schaefer said. “If we had a little more time to adjust to our personnel situation, we might have been able to execute a little better.”
Freshman forward Mele Taula led William Chrisman with nine points, seven of which came in the first quarter. Amanda Szopinski had seven points and the Bears’ only 3-pointer while Gia Moore chipped in six.
Raytown was led by Victoria Jones, who was 3 of 4 from 3-point range and finished with 13 points. Stevi Yancey, who made two 3-pointers, also reached double figures with 10.
Schaefer wouldn’t call it an off-night, even if it was Chrisman’s first loss since falling 54-39 to the same Raytown team on Jan. 27. Even in the midst of that winning streak, the Bears had injuries and setbacks to deal with. After ending the regular season Thursday at home against Belton, Chrisman will face Fort Osage Saturday in the first round of the Class 5 District 15 tournament at Liberty High School.
“The kids are disappointed and the coaches are disappointed, but we’ll bounce back,” Schaefer said. “We’ve been kind of resilient all year.”