It wasn’t that St. Michael the Archangel’s girls didn’t know what hit them. They knew.
There just wasn’t much they could do about it.
St. Michael knew all about Maryville’s Serena Sundell and what a load the 6-foot-1 guard can be to handle. Sundell scored 25 points, Maryville unleashed an effective trapping defense, and St. Michael’s season came to an end with a 51-32 loss Wednesday night in a Class 3 sectional playoff at Lee’s Summit North High School.
Sundell, a junior who averages 28 points a game, made three shots from 3-point range and sliced the lane for her points. She made pinpoint passes for back-door cuts and scored off those cuts herself.
“We were well prepared,” St. Michael senior Abby Salanski said. “We knew all their plays, what kind of defense they were going to run. Just everything we did, we just couldn’t shut down their one player.”
Sundell struggled to find shots early, but so did St. Michael. Maryville’s trapping and quickness on defense forced six turnovers in the first quarter, which the Spoofhounds ended with a 10-0 run for a 13-5 lead they would never relinquish.
St. Michael (21-8) cut it to two midway through the second quarter, but two 3-pointers from Sundell late in the period had Maryville (21-5) up 24-18 by halftime.
That lead ballooned to 36-22 when Maryville held the Guardians to four points in the third quarter. St. Michael made just 1 of 15 shots in the period; the Guardians were 12-for-42 for the game.
“Our girls played hard and we stuck to our game plan,” St. Michael coach Mary Kroening said. “We just came up short offensively. We didn’t get into the rhythm that we normally do.”
Colleen McNamara scored nine points to lead St. Michael, which also got eight apiece from Salanski and Clare Scheier. After closing with a second consecutive district title in the program’s three-year history, Kroening is already looking forward to next season.
“Each year we’ve improved, and that’s the biggest thing,” Kroening said. “We’re laying the foundation for what Lady Guardian basketball is all about.”
Maryville, which will play Macon in a Class 3 state quarterfinal game Saturday at Blue Springs High School, also got 15 points from freshman point guard Anastyn Pettlon.