SMNW girls hoops holds off Lawrence High, 54-42
It has not been a secret throughout the Sunflower League that shutting down Shawnee Mission Northwest senior Brenni Rose has been the focal point of the Cougars' opponents.
Perhaps no one knows that better than former SM Northwest girls basketball coach Jeff Dickson, who is now the coach at Lawrence High.
Dickson's Lions were able to limit Rose to 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting, but the Drake commit was able to spread the ball around to her teammates as the Cougars claimed a 54-42 victory over Lawrence High, Tuesday.
"A lot of teams are focusing on closing Brenni down," SM Northwest senior Danielle Rehor said. "She's a really good passer, so she'll find you if you just find the open spot on the backside and slide in."
Rehor was the primary beneficiary of Rose's six assists, as she poured in a game-high 17 points. The 5-foot-10 forward scored five points during a 15-0 SM Northwest run that was started by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from junior Emmalee Rose at the end of the first quarter and lasted until the 1:40 mark of the second.
"All of our offensive momentum has been coming from defensive stops lately," Rehor said. "Our defense has really been driving the game."
The Cougars (13-2 overall, 4-2 in the Sunflower League) built a 28-16 advantage going into the break, but the Lions did not lay down and quit in the second half. Lawrence High junior Olivia Lemus knocked down three 3-pointers during a 12-4 surge to open the third quarter, and ended with a team-best 15 points.
Northwest weathered the storm in the third quarter, but still couldn't quite put Lawrence High away. Lions 6-foot-3 freshman scored six of her 14 points in the fourth, including a bucket to trim the Cougars' lead to 46-42 with 2:24 remaining. Cougars coach Tyler Stewart called a timeout to rally his troops in preparation for crunch time, and they responded with an 8-0 run to close the game.
"We just had to relax and get some defensive rebounds, quit letting them have second-chance opportunities to score and execute on offense," Rehor said.
The win over the Lions (7-8 overall, 2-4 in Sunflower League play) pushed the Cougars' winning streak to eight games. The Cougars will take the streak and their No. 3 ranking in Class 6A into their matchup at 5:30 p.m. Friday against Shawnee Mission East.
Gena Ojeda 0-0 0-0 0, Shelbie McLain 3-4 3-3 10, Emmalee Rose 3-3 0-0 8, Melissa Schmidt 0-1 1-2 1, Jordann Nachbar 3-9 0-0 6, Danielle Rehor 6-10 3-3 17, Brenni Rose 5-17 1-1 12, Carson Vielhauer 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Seibold 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Black 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-44 8-9 54.
Hannah Stewart 1-9 0-0 3, Olivia Lemus 5-10 1-2 15, Talima Harjo 2-6 0-0 5, E'lease Stafford 2-9 0-0 5, Chisom Ajekwu 7-9 0-1 14, Leslie Ostronic 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Boyd 0-1 0-0 0, Emma Bentzinger 0-2 0-0 0, Gracie Reinsch 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-46 1-3 42.
SMNW 13 15 10 16 – 54
LHS 11 5 14 12 – 42
Three-point goals: SMNW 6-11 (Rehor 2, Emmalee Rose 2, Brenni Rose, Shelbie McLain); LHS 7-22 (Lemus 4, Stafford, Stewart, Harjo). Turnovers: SMNW 6, LHS 11.