Broncos roll over Wildcats, clinch district title

dmcqueen@lsjournal.comFebruary 15, 2017 

Maybe they weren’t perfect, but the Lee’s Summit North girls basketball team followed its script perfectly Monday night.

Dominate under the basket offensively and defensively? Check. Make sharp passes for easy buckets inside? Check. Mix in some outside shots and points in transition? That too.

It all added up to a 67-35 victory over Blue Springs, a victory on the road that made the Broncos 21-0 overall and clinched a second-straight Suburban Gold Conference title.

“We met all the goals we set for the game,” North senior Aaliyah Johnson said. “We try to take care of the ball, run through our offense, stay within our game plan. That’s basically the sum of our goals for the game.”

North wasted no time meeting those goals against a Blue Springs team it throttled 55-19 a month ago. Johnson scored five of the game’s first six points and nine of her team-high 21 in the first quarter. The Broncos led 18-8 after the first period and kept building their lead from there.

“We always try to establish a tempo right from the beginning and set the tone for the game,” Johnson said. “We know if we come out strong and maintain that, it’s our game.”

A strong start was one of things North coach Tricia Lillygren wanted to see from the Broncos, who have had games where they’ve struggled out of the gate. Other than some ball handling issues (the Broncos had seven turnovers in the first half) Lillygren thought they accomplished that goal, too.

“I was happy with the way we started the ballgame,” Lillygren said. “That was one thing we’ve been talking about lately is we can’t have sluggish starts. We have to come out and be businesslike from the beginning and set a tone for the game.”

North scored the first six points of the third quarter for a 24-8 lead and Blue Springs (6-16 overall and 1-9 in the conference) would never draw closer. North held the Wildcats to single-digit scoring the first two quarters as it built a 35-15 halftime lead. That lead grew to 50-25 after three quarters and reached 30 points midway through the fourth.

Aiyana Johnson had 13 points to along with her sister’s 21, but the Broncos didn’t do all their damage inside. North also got 19 points from sophomore guard Anija Frazier, who made three three-pointers and also scored off steals and in transition.

Guard TaT’yanna Stewart contributed six points off the bench, as did junior guard Micaela Dickerson, who left the game after getting poked in the eye in the second quarter but came back to hit three straight baskets in the fourth.

“We had a lot of kids score tonight,” Lillygren said. “When (Frazier) can get in double figures where all the scoring isn’t coming from inside, they’ve got to at least open up a little bit and guard that perimeter a little bit more.”

Mark that as another goal accomplished for North, which is 10-0 in conference play with just two league games and one non-league contest left before postseason play begins.

“We had a whole list and we hit most of them,” Lillygren said. “We’re pretty happy about that.”

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