Broncos run past Titans

Special to the JournalJanuary 10, 2014 

Lee’s Summit West found it that it’s hard to make a comeback when they don’t score for an entire quarter.

A 19-0 Lee’s Summit North (6-2) third quarter squelched any hope of a Titan (7-4) comeback in the Broncos’ 42-28 home victory Monday night. The Titans trailed 18-11 at half, but offensive and defensive miscues piled up and they failed to get the ball in the basket the whole third quarter.

“They laid the wood to us, didn’t they? We came out and got in foul trouble,” West head coach Jeff Hardin said. “And that hurt us the whole first half and we hung in there. Then we came out in the third quarter and didn’t focus. (I) had to end up playing some subs because I needed to make a point to some people that they need to be ready to do their jobs.”

Erica Nelson fueled the run, scoring 10 of the team’s 19 third-quarter points and finished the game with 18.

“I think just taking what was given (sparked Nelson),” Broncos head coach Tricia Lillygren. “Instead of trying to force what she wanted to happen, she made better selections and kind of just let things come to her instead of trying to force it.”

In two minutes, the score went from 18-11 to 27-11. Nelson hit a 3 to open the third quarter. LaChelle Parks canned one as well. Nelson made a transition layup and hit a free thrown after getting fouled.

“I think [the run was] a combination of both [offense and defense] because I thought defensively we created some of those opportunities on offense,” Lillygren said. “Yet, we took care of the basketball and got some good looks, went strong and hit some free throws that were important.”

Imani Johnson kept it rolling with a layup and Nelson added four more free throws on five attempts. The Broncos capped off the third with a steal by Aaliyah Johnson and a nifty bounce pass from Nelson to Imani Johnson for a layup. Imani Johnson ended the game with nine points.

While the Broncos converted on offense, the Titans really struggled. Passes went awry (nine turnovers in the quarter compared to none for North). Perimeter shots missed everything. Layups bounced out. Shots got altered or blocked.

“We came out and wanted to do our own thing instead of doing what we work on, which is: pass, move, cut, fill – all the good things of offensive basketball. We didn’t execute those things [in the third],” Hardin said “We played for ourselves and playing for ourselves got us down 19-0.”

Down 37-11, West picked it back up in the fourth, but it was too late by then. Di’Jionae Calloway scored nine of her 11 points in the forth after battling foul trouble all game. Taylor Jackson added seven for the Titans.

“The fourth quarter was a chance for us to get other people in the ballgame and work on depth,” said Lillygren. “I was hoping that would turn out a little better than it did with the way we ended the ballgame. But the first three quarters were pretty solid.”

The Broncos scored the first seven points of the game, but the Titans came back to within 11-9 in the middle of the second quarter. Seven of the Broncos’ first 11 points came from the charity stripe. North went 16-for-19 from the free-throw line on the night while West went 10-for-19.

“Early in the game we came out with some energy and we defended according to our game plan and we were making it hard on them,” Hardin said. “The only way they were scoring there early was by free throws.”

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