St. Thomas Aquinas’ girls authored the evening’s most impressive win Friday at the Hy-Vee Shootout.
The undefeated Saints, who are ranked No. 2 in The Star’s big-class rankings, blitzed Lee’s Summit North 52-20 at Avila’s Mabee Fieldhouse.
Behind a defense that limited the Broncos to 19 percent shooting, Aquinas, 4-0, dominated the first period 17-5 and never led by fewer than nine points the rest of the way.
“We prepared very well defensively and worked hard on moving together and having each other’s back,” said Aquinas junior Tia Weledji, who finished with a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds.
Weledji drew the assignment against Broncos junior Imani Johnson, who scored 10 points on four-for-14 shooting.
The Saints outscored the 3-3 Broncos 30-10 in the second half.
“Our confidence is sky high right now,” Weledji said. “It feels really good to carry on the tradition of winning the Hy-Vee. That feels really good.”
Saints juniors Allie Dierks and Kelly Sweeney chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
LS North junior Jaden Powell snatched seven rebounds, and Johnson added six.
Blue Springs 39, McPherson 26
It wasn’t pretty — and that’s being kind — but Blue Springs came out on top despite making one second-half field goal.
The Wildcats, 5-1, finished with more turnovers (11) than baskets (seven), but pulled away late at the free-throw line, led by senior Lizzy Wendell.
Despite a seven-for-35 shooting performance, Blue Springs was on fire compared to the Bullpups, who shot five for 33 overall and committed 15 turnovers.
“Both teams played good defense, so that’s the positive of it, but neither team got in the flow offensively,” Wildcats coach Mark Spigarelli said. “It was a horrible shooting game offensively for both teams, probably due to both teams’ defense and what was allowed officiating-wise. It was a very physical game.”
Wendell, who has signed with Drake, finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds and was 13 for 14 from the line, including four free throws in the closing minutes after McPherson closed within 30-25.
“I wasn’t hitting my own shots, so I knew I had to hit the free ones,” Wendell said.
Texas Tech-bound senior Karyla Middlebrook chipped in 12 points, and sophomore Morgan McMahan added seven rebounds. Oklahoma State-bound senior Katelyn Loecker led McPherson with 11.
Rock Bridge 43 Olathe Northwest 21
Poor shooting proved contagious as Olathe Northwest shot a meager 12 percent, connecting on five of 42 from the field in its loss to Columbia Rock Bridge.
“Oh man, you’re not going to win many games like that,” Ravens coach Joel Branstrom said.
Olathe Northwest, 1-3, started the game one for 18, which helped the Bruins open up a 10-point halftime lead, but the Ravens kept things close into the fourth quarter.
Senior Kelsey Brooks’ transition layup with 6:50 remaining trimmed Rock Bridge’s lead to 22-17, but Northwest’s icy shooting and mounting fouls helped the Bruins pull away.
Sophomore Sophie Cunningham scored nine of her game-high 17 points during a game-breaking 18-2 run by Rock Bridge that stretched the lead to 40-19.
Still, as lopsided as the final ended up being, the Bruins, 6-0, who are ranked No. 11 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national rankings, shot less than 30 percent from the field and committed 18 turnovers.
“I’m very happy with our defense,” Branstrom said. “My kids did a lot of good things, frustrating them and not allowing easy buckets, so I’m very proud of that.”
Brooks finished with 10 points, and senior Mikey Crall grabbed seven boards for Olathe Northwest.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.
To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>. Follow him at twitter.com/todpalmer.