Shawnee Mission East girls searching for right combinations with key players missing

Shawnee Mission Each coach Lauren Lawrence is needing Kyle Haverty, right, to help lead the younger players as the Lady Lancers have three starters missing currently. Haverty scored two points on Saturday.
Shawnee Mission Each coach Lauren Lawrence is needing Kyle Haverty, right, to help lead the younger players as the Lady Lancers have three starters missing currently. Haverty scored two points on Saturday.

Blue Valley North locked down defensively in the first half against Shawnee Mission East as the Lady Mustangs cruised to a 60-29 victory on Saturday afternoon.

BV North used runs of 10-0 and 20-0 to put the game out of reach early. SM East didn’t score its first basket until there were 34 seconds left in the first quarter. The Lady Lancers’ next basket didn’t come until the 1:36 mark of the second quarter.

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BV/SMSD Shootout Scores
BV Northwest 59, SM South 58
SM West, 54, BV Southwest 47
BV West 57, SM North 36
SM Northwest 36, Blue Valley 27
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Lady Mustangs coach Ann Fritz, who was a member of the SM East state championship team in 1982-83, said they focused on coming out playing defense and rebounding.

“I think we have some athletes and we have a lot of different players that can play some positions; girls who play multiple sports,” Fritz said. “They can move and guard and are aggressive.”

BV North was balanced in scoring with six girls scoring eight points or more. Sophomore Grace Keirn led the way with 11 points, while senior Jordan Fritz and sophomores Kayley Cassaday and Chloe Kuckelman poured in nine each. Sophomore Melina Peshoff and freshman Lauren Cassaday each added eight points.

The second half was a little sloppier as the Lady Mustangs doubled their turnover output from four in the first half to eight, including a run of three straight empty possessions in the fourth quarter.

Fritz said the girls lost a little bit of intensity while they also picked up some “stupid fouls.” Keirn thought she and her teammates were a little comfortable.

“We were like, ‘We have a pretty big lead,’” Keirn said. “We knew we had to go out because we knew they could come back, but I think we got comfortable and played sloppy and made mistakes.”

However, SM East wasn’t able to capitalize enough on those turnovers as the closest they came in the second half was a 20-point deficit.

Lady Lancer coach Lauren Lawrence said the girls showed glimpses of some good things in their season-opening loss to Shawnee Mission South on Thursday, but it’s going to be a work-in-progress. They some talent, it’s just a matter of execution.

Some of that talent isn’t contributing at the moment as seniors Josie Clough and Tyler Keys as well as junior Sofia Stechschulte are all out. Throw in Emma Linscott, who graduated last year, and the Lady Lancers are without four starters.

“I think the dynamics for us are going to change,” Lawrence said. “We have leadership, it’s just a matter of the execution and coming together as a team and playing like I know they can.”

Sophomore Toni Englund led SM East with 11 points while sophomore Jordan Yowell added eight points. Senior Kyle Haverty was limited to only two points.

Until some of the starters return, Lawrence needs Haverty to help some of the younger players in terms of directing where they need to be on the court.

“We have some young faces, that have, these last two games had to step up at the varsity level that do not have that experience,” Lawrence said. “We do have experience on our team, but we have to help guide those younger players and show them the ropes in order to be successful.”