Harrisonville may have only led 10-6 at the end of the first quarter, but after getting those first game jitters out of the way, the Lady Wildcats rolled past Belton 48-17 in the first round of the Belton Tournament Nov. 27.
“I think tonight we came out and we were a little jittery,” Harrisonville senior forward Anisa Alexander said, who led the team with 13 points. “We were a little too fast. Our bodies couldn’t really handle it. But we came together as a team and played really well.”
Belton started out that first quarter with a 6-2 lead after a three-pointer from senior guard Ashley Cole. But the Lady Wildcats responded with an 8-0 run to end the quarter, with a free throw and two baskets from senior forward Mackenzie Hocker and a three-pointer from junior guard Brianna Kendrick.
In the second quarter, with the score at 14-8, Harrisonville went on another 8-0 run, with a basket apiece from senior guard Brook Riley, junior guard Baylie Galeassi, Kendrick and Alexander to take a 22-8 advantage. Harrisonville led 24-9 at halftime.
The Lady Wildcats allowed only four points in the third quarter, scored by Belton junior post Tranisha Smith and junior post Haley McConville.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Pirates started out with a basket from Cole, but Alexander was fouled, hitting one of her free throws. Belton responded with another shot from Cole to make the score 37-17, but Harrisonville went on yet another run, this time for 11 points to lead 48-17 and institute the running clock rule to end the game.
“I think we started the game with the effort needed to win, taking an early lead,” Belton head coach Brad Batchelder said. “Harrisonville is a very good team and did a lot of things defensively that gave us trouble. We just have to make better basketball decisions and not get ourselves into trouble. We are going through a learning process and I believe these girls will get there sooner than later. We have some really good kids that are playing hard and working to get better.”
Harrisonville was led by Alexander with 13 points, followed by Hocker with 11 points, Kendrick and Riley with eight points each, Galeassi with six points and Mikaila Stackhouse with two points.
Belton was led by Cole with 11 points, McConville with four points and Smith with two points.
The Lady Wildcats, 1-0, moved to semifinals Nov. 29 and a victory would put them in the championship game at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. But they face this season with only three seniors to lead the young squad.
“I think this year will be very interesting on how we come together,” Alexander said. “We are very athletic and quick. But it will mostly depend on how we come together as a team.”
Belton, 0-1, competed in the consolation semifinals Nov. 29. A win gives them a shot at the consolation championship title at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.