SMNW girls hoops handles SM South after slow start in first quarter
Overland Park The Shawnee Mission Northwest girls basketball team shut out Shawnee Mission South in the first quarter in the first matchup between the Sunflower League foes on Dec. 16, so the fact that the Cougars were trailing the Raiders after the first eight minutes of Thursday's rematch took them a little bit off guard.
The Cougars more than made up for the disappointing first quarter, though, as they rolled past the Raiders, 57-31, to improve to 7-3 on the season.
"We kind of had a lull there in the first quarter where we struggled to guard a little bit, and we had a lot of turnovers, a lot of empty possessions," SM Northwest coach Tyler Stewart said. "Once we started locking in defensively and holding them to one and done and value the possession, we had a lot of good things happen."
Northwest trailed South, 16-13, in the early stages of the second quarter, but the Cougars were in complete control from that point on. The Cougars tightened up their defense, and their shots started to fall on the offensive end as they closed the half on a 20-1 run.
"After he called that timeout (late in the first quarter), we all just came together," senior point guard Emmalee Rose said. "We all just decided that that was it, and we weren't going to take any more pushing or shoving."
Rose caught fire from behind the arc to spark the Cougars during the second quarter. Rose nailed all three of her 3-pointers in the second quarter, and finished with 11 points.
"After I hit that first one, I felt pretty confident after that," Rose said. "I'm glad I did and I'm glad I knocked them down because I felt that really boosted us and got our confidence up. We just kept pushing from there."
The Cougars knocked down eight of their 17 shots from long distance, and the SM Northwest front court was a big reason why. Junior Jordann Nachbar drilled two 3-pointers in the third quarter, and sophomore Hannah Black added another.
Nachbar was effective down low as well, leading all scorers with 20 points, but the 5-foot-10 junior has been working hard on expanding her game.
"We both are trying to be posts and guards, and we've just gotten better at it," Nachbar said.
While Nachbar felt like she was in a good offensive rhythm, she was more encouraged about how the Cougars locked down on the defensive end for the final three quarters. The Raiders made six field goals in the first quarter to jump out to a 13-11 lead, but only had four shots go in the rest of the way.
"We had a little bit of a lull here after our Christmas break to where we hadn't been defending up to the caliber that we're capable of defending," Stewart said. "I was really proud of that because that's our identity. We have to be able to defend and rebound. If we can be able to do those things, then good things happen."
The Cougars will be back in action in the Newton tournament Jan. 26-28.
Meredith Bunker 0-2 2-4 2, Karoline Shelton 2-8 1-3 5, Robyn MacDonald 1-6 0-5 2, Madi McAvoy 1-5 5-6 8, Crimson Barker 5-9 0-0 10, Gabi Green 0-4 0-1 0, Rakeya Martin 1-1 1-2 4, Abby Gerber 0-2 0-0 0, Lauren Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Kristina Bermond 0-2 0-0 0, Carolyn Schneck 0-0 0-0 0, Jackie Stidham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 10-39 9-21 31.
Gena Ojeda 2-7 1-2 7, Megan Nugent 1-5 0-0 2, Emmalee Rose 3-8 2-2 11, Hannah Black 1-3 4-4 7, Sarah Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Jordann Nachbar 8-9 2-4 20, Rachel Seibold 1-1 4-6 6, Haley Nunnink 1-3 0-0 2, Donavyn Hill 0-3 0-0 0, Abby Winter 0-0 0-0 0, Olivia Sloan 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Hanson 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Formwalt 0-0 0-0 0, Maggie O'Neill 0-0 2-3 2. Totals: 17-39 15-21 57.
SMNW 11 22 19 5 — 57
SMS 13 4 6 8 — 31
Three-point goals: SMNW 8-17 (Rose 3, Ojeda 2, Nachbar 2, Black); SMS 2-11 (McAvoy, Martin). Fouled out: None. Turnovers: SMNW 12, SMS 20.