Pleasant Hill ran away from Belton 54-24 in the first round of the Pleasant Hill Invitational held Jan. 9.
The No. 1 seeded Chicks, now 10-1, had a 35-8 lead at halftime over the No. 8 seeded winless Lady Pirates team.
We played pretty well though we still revert to bad habits occasionally, Pleasant Hill head coach Jim Underwood said. I thought our bench played really well and that should be an asset for us as we progress.
Belton had a 6-4 advantage in the first quarter, helped by a three-pointer each from junior Lauren Cook and junior Ashley Cole. But Pleasant Hill took charge, going on a 26-point run through the second quarter to lead 30-6. The Lady Pirates put in one basket in the second quarter on a shot by freshman Amanda Whitney.
This is by far the youngest team I have ever coached, Belton head coach Aaron Quinley said. Only six of the girls were on junior varsity or varsity last year so this is a big year for learning. We are definitely a work in progress. Last game, just like the previous four to five games, progress was seen in regards to our younger players learning how to play at the varsity level, but much more work is needed. As our younger players improve through experience, more success in games will become evident.
The Chicks put in their bench in the third quarter, but still outscored Belton 10-6. Cole swished in the Lady Pirates points on three-pointers as Pleasant Hill junior Kindred Wesemann, sophomore Emily McKee, sophomore Paige Shifflett, sophomore Heather Hughes and junior Shannon Haws all added two points to give the Chicks a 45-14 advantage.
In the final quarter, with the clock rolling, Belton sophomore Jada Bates sunk a three-pointer, but Pleasant Hill freshman Kai Wesemann continued the fight with four baskets in a row.
Pleasant Hill was led in scoring by Kindred Wesemann with 15 points, followed by Kai Wesemann with 13 points. Schick had six points, McKee added five points and Breeona Foster had four points. Hughes and Shifflett both netted three points, Kristin Orpin and Haws added two points and Courtney Gibbins had one point.
The Lady Pirates are 0-9 this season, but Quinley urges fans to be patient as the team continues to grow.
They are working hard, he said.
Belton was led in scoring by Cole with 12 points and followed by Anna Biondo with four points. Cook and Bates had three points each and Whitney added two points.
Pleasant Hill faced No. 4 seeded Pembroke Hill in the semifinals Wednesday. A win guarantees the Chicks a spot in the championship game slated for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14. Belton took on No. 5 seeded Grandview in the consolation semifinals Wednesday. A victory puts the Lady Pirates in the fifth place game at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13.
For more photos of the game, visit www.demo-mo.com/sports/galleries/.