East’s size too much for North girls
Outrebounded nearly three-to-one over the course of four quarters, the Shawnee Mission North girls basketball team couldn’t put together an efficient enough shooting night to overcome a taller, more experienced Shawnee Mission East front line Friday night, falling to the Lancers, 51-28, at North Fieldhouse.
Unofficially, East outrebounded the Indians 31-11 during the contest, using its height advantage to hold North to just one shot on offense and to allow itself multiple looks at the basket on offense. North tried to neutralize the East size advantage with a frenetic and speedy defense, but too many turnovers and a poor shooting night spelled disaster for the Indians.
The North defense frustrated the Lancers through most of the first quarter. Coach Kelly Dennis’s high pressure defense forced East into multiple turnovers in the game’s opening minutes and held the Lancers to just one field goal in the first four minutes. However, East senior guard Caroline Nick began finding driving lanes in the North defense late in the first period and spurred East to a 13-4 lead after the first eight minutes.
The Lancers were again frustrated through the first four minutes of the second quarter, again only making one field goal in that time, but a 3-pointer by Nick and a full-court layup by senior point guard Shannon McGinley soon helped push the East advantage to 16 — its biggest of the first half. North answered by beginning to penetrate into the lane and getting fouled. Four straight free throws by freshman guard Bridget Wray and sophomore guard Darian Dozier, respectively, brought the Indians back to within 12 before Nick’s charity tosses just before halftime pushed the East lead back to 14 at the break.
North junior forward Cassie Ledgerwood twice brought the Indians back to within 12 in the opening minutes of the third quarter. However, East used the last five minutes of the period to go on a 15-0 run and take a 41-14 lead into the final frame.
The lead was pushed to as much as 29 in the fourth quarter before North began to find a little bit of an offensive rhythm. A 12-6 run by North was spurred by Ledgerwood, Dozier, and junior guard India Johnson. The Lancers salted away the victory from the free throw line in the game’s final minutes, but the Cougars had finally outscored East in one quarter, taking the fourth period 14-10. Ledgerwood and Johnson tied for the Indian lead in scoring with eight points each. Ledgerwood added a team-high five rebounds to her tally while Johnson had three assists. Dozier added seven points and two steals to the North cause.
Nick led the Lancers with 19 points and five boards, while East senior forward Caroline Dodd had six points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals.