Grain Valley made quick work of longtime rival Oak Grove in the opening round of the Grain Valley Lady Eagles Sonic Showdown Monday night.

Grain Valley made quick work of longtime rival Oak Grove in the opening round of the Grain Valley Lady Eagles Sonic Showdown Monday night.
Whitney Broughton scored 11 points, Megan Yates came off the bench to add 10 and Paige Mead and Ashley Manns added nine points each as the host Eagles never looked back following a 20-8 first-quarter lead, en route to a 54-36 victory.
The third-seeded Eagles will meet No. 2 seed O’Hara at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Grain Valley gym while the No. 6 Panthers play No. 7 seed Center in a consolation game at the same time at Grain Valley Middle School.
“O’Hara could be in contention for a state championship,” Eagles coach Steve Broughton said after his team improved to 12-4. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us Wednesday night.”
Aaron Neeser felt the same way about his 4-11 Oak Grove squad.
“We need to get a win, to build the girls’ confidence,” Neeser said. “We’re going to find out what we’re made of Wednesday when we play Center.”
Despite the fact that leading scorer Taylor Lipps is out of the lineup with a knee injury, the Eagles have not skipped a beat offensively.
“We have some girls who can score – and tonight, we had a lot of girls score,” Steve Broughton said. “The girls are used to playing without Taylor in the summer because she plays softball, so this isn’t something new.
“We did a nice job in the first half both offensively and defensively. We were a little sluggish in the second half, but the score might have had something to do with that.”
The Eagles took a 37-13 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“I was real happy with the way we played the first half,” said Whitney Broughton, who hit two 3-pointers and played flawless defense.
The Eagles turned nine Panther turnovers in the first quarter into 14 points and hit their first four 3-point attempts.
“We did a great job on defense the first quarter,” Whitney said. “We hit some 3-pointers that opened up the inside game for Paige and Megan. And all the girls who came off the bench did a great job.”
Added Meade: “When Whitney and the other girls are hitting from the outside, it does open up things inside and we were able to take advantage of that tonight. I missed way too many shots, but I tried to make up for it by playing good defense.”
The Eagles had a hard time stopping Oak Grove’s Taylor Vickers, who led all scorers with 21 points.
“She’s just a warrior,” Neeser said of his senior forward. “She works so hard, in practice and in the games, and she really inspires her teammates. She didn’t get a lot of help tonight, and that’s something we have to work on.”
Vickers has been averaging 15 points and nearly 10 boards a game this season.
“I’m having fun,” Vickers said. “It’s never fun to lose, but we’re all trying hard.”
 We haven’t had a lot of success in the four years I’ve played at Oak Grove, but I’m going to keep a positive attitude, and I will always work hard for this team and Coach Neeser.”