Last-minute comeback for Shawnee Mission West girls basketball falls short

SM West's Khaliah Hines goes up for a layup in the Vikings' 43-40 loss to St. James on Wednesday. Hines scored seven points.
SM West’s Khaliah Hines goes up for a layup in the Vikings’ 43-40 loss to St. James on Wednesday. Hines scored seven points.

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St. James 43, SM West 40

Leading Scorers
SM West
Kennedy- 9
Lee- 8
Hines- 7

St. James
Kempf- 14
Goetz- 9
Kaufman- 8
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With 14.5 seconds remaining and trailing by two, Shawnee Mission West coach Ryan Foster drew up a play to go for the win against St. James.

Foster said his team swings the ball and runs the baseline well, so he wanted his guards to come down and get a high-ball screen and shift the defense to one side of the floor. He then wanted the Vikings to sweep the ball across for a wide-open shot.

“We wanted to catch them off guard before they can rotate over so we can get as clean of a look as possible, and we can’t get a much cleaner look than that,” Foster said.

Junior Khaliah Hines, who scored seven points, brought the ball up the floor, crossed over to her left near the top of the key and found senior Emma Beason, who scored five points, in the corner. Beason’s shot hit the back iron, but Hines was able to grab the rebound and find Kierra Prim, who added two points, for one final shot to try and force overtime, but Prim’s shot fell off the rim and St. James secured the rebound and a 43-40 win.

SM West and St. James went back and forth the entire game. Each team held a lead of five points, but that was the largest of the game. The Vikings went cold in the fourth quarter as they took a 36-34 lead with 6:40 remaining, but St. James went on a 7-0 run until the Vikings next scored with 59 seconds left on a Beason three.

The Vikings were also in foul trouble as five players had three or more fouls, and the troubles came early too, as Hines picked up three fouls in the first half. He said the fouls and putting St. James in the bonus early wasn’t the issue, but it shows their lack of discipline.

However, he liked the aggressiveness on the offensive end throughout the game, and wants his team to be more aggressive instead of playing to lose at times.

Foster wrote 11 girls in the book, but only eight were on the bench able to play. Kenzie Loe, who is out with a torn ACL, is expected to return next month.

“We have a young team; a lot of underclassmen,” Foster said. “It’s a different speed of the game between JV and varsity. In a regular doubleheader kind of night, they would be in the book and maybe get in the game. But if it’s a varsity-only, they’re not ready yet. We’re a thin team — not a lot of depth, and we have a lot of youth. We have a lot to learn.

“If this top eight is going to be top eight, we’ll have to work out the kinks; learn the hard way.