A night of frustration ended for the William Chrisman girls basketball team with three offensive rebounds – and three missed layups.
Those came in the closing seconds of a 39-37 Suburban Middle Seven loss to Belton on a Senior Night that didn’t have the fairytale ending Jennifer David had hoped for.
With 2:14 left in the fourth quarter Thursday night at Chrisman, David hit a long 3-pointer to cut the Bears’ deficit to 39-37, but they could not get that last elusive basket.
“Tonight was special because I got to share it with my family and teammates,” said David, who was showered with flowers and candy leis in a brief pre-game ceremony,” but it would have been more special if we had won.
“We did not play well in the first half, and Coach (Scott Schaefer) let us know about it at halftime. I thought we played much better in the second half and we had so many chances to win the game, especially late in the game.
“So now we have to get back to work, and forget about this loss and get ready for district next week.”
When asked what role she might play in firing up her teammates, David said matter of factly, “I’m a senior and I’m a captain, and I need to let everyone know how important it is to play better next week because our next loss will mean the end of the season – and none of us want that to happen.”
Schaefer, the usually reserved Bears coach, was fired up at halftime after his team turned in a solid defensive performance, but trailed 19-18.
“I yelled at the girls for the first time in a few years,” Schaefer said after the Bears wrapped up a 13-12 regular season and 7-5 conference campaign. “Usually I’m pretty calm, but I got after them at halftime. They were just standing around, no one wanted to take a shot. The first half cost us the ballgame, because we played much better in the second half.”
With Amanda Szopinski single-handedly keeping the Bears in the game with 22 points, including four 3-pointers, the score was tied at 32 after three periods.
The Pirates scored the first five points of the fourth quarter for a 37-32 advantage – and only scored one more basket the last 6:15 of the game. But the Bears could only manage one basket, too, a 3-point shot by David.
“Amanda really stepped up her game tonight,” Schaefer said. “And Jolee (Spinks, who had two late steals that gave the Bears a chance to tie or win the game) played a very good defensive game.
“We just have to play much, much better if we want our season to continue at district.”
Kennedy Moss led the Belton with 11 points.
Chrisman faces rival Fort Osage at 1 p.m. Saturday in the first round of the Class 5 District 15 Tournament at Liberty High School.