Tuesday, Nov. 27 2012 2:10PM
First quarter rush
LSN marches past LSW in first round
By Brian Spano
Special to the Journal
The combination of Lee’s Summit North scoring on its first three possessions and holding Lee’s Summit West scoreless until the 4:32 mark of the first quarter helped the Broncos take the Nov. 26 opening round game of the Bronco Girls Basketball Invitational 61-53.
Senior guard Taylor Creason led the way with 18 points and five boards for the Broncos, while junior forward Imani Johnson, who got into foul trouble late, finished the ballgame with 16 points and six rebounds.
“It was pretty important because we knew it was going to be an intense game know that they’re another Lee’s Summit school,” Creason said of jumping out to the early lead. “I think we might have lost our composure right there at the end, but we held on, kept our lead and won the game.”
West, 0-2, found itself down early thanks to turnovers and tough shooting luck, but in the second half made a strong effort to close the gap after trailing 38-22 at the break.
Junior Allison Finneseth scored 14 of her 19 points, and sophomore Taylor Jackson had all 10 of hers in the second half. The Titans got it as close as eight points.
“It was hard to come back,” Finneseth said of having to dig out of the deep hole. “You have to have a lot of intensity and more stops. It’s a lot more difficult, but we did the best we could. We had to be more aggressive, that was our mindset. We couldn’t be timid.”
The difference in the game was North’s size and experience versus West’s youth and inexperience, but as the game progressed, especially into the second half, the Titans played with a lot more confidence, even outscoring the Broncos 31-23.
“I have nothing but freshmen and sophomores with one senior who didn’t play a lot,” said West head coach Kristy Guffey. “We’re just building a program, and that’s our mindset. A winning program is different from a winning team right now. They are just now grasping the fundamentals of basketball right now defensively and offensively, and it’s finally coming together. For me, it’s about building confidence. I think January and February, you’ll see a different team.”
Once Johnson got into foul trouble in the fourth quarter, West was able to take advantage of her absence, however, their big presence in the middle, Kelsey Shanahan also got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out of the game.
“They did a great job, and it felt like they hit absolutely everything in that late third quarter and into the fourth,” North head coach Tricia Lillygren said. “They did a tremendous job and got into their plan. We got out of ours. That lead was nice. It was a good start for us. We are so young and are going to have that roller coaster.”
With the win, North improves to 2-0 on the young season and advances in the tournament to take on William Chrisman in the semifinals at 7 p.m. tonight. West moves to the consolation side of the bracket to face Notre Dame de Sion also at 7 p.m. tonight.