A strong third quarter helped lift Pleasant Hill past Grain Valley 38-19 for the championship title of the Pleasant Hill Invitational Jan. 12.
After a slow start, with the Chicks ahead just 6-2 at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles started out the second quarter with a free throw to make the score 6-3. But Pleasant Hill responded with a 10-0 run, with two baskets from sophomore guard Rachel Schick, a shot and three-pointer from senior guard Kindred Wesemann and a free throw form sophomore guard Kai Wesemann to lead 16-3. But Grain Valley sunk a basket and three-pointer before the end of the quarter to make the score 16-8 at halftime.
“We are, every night, steeling ourselves for our opponent’s best effort and for the tournament, we were able to put some nice wins together,” Pleasant Hill head coach Jim Underwood said.
In the third quarter, Schick started things off for the Chicks with a basket. Grain Valley retaliated with a shot of their own, but Pleasant Hill came back with two free throws from junior forward Emily McKee and a three-pointer from junior guard Kristin Orpin to take a 23-10 lead.
After another Eagle basket, the rest of the quarter belonged to Pleasant Hill with a basket apiece from McKee, Kindred Wesemann and Kai Wesemann to give the Chicks a 29-12 advantage.
Pleasant Hill outscored Grain Valley 9-7 in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.
Schick and Kindred Wesemann led in scoring with 10 points each. Orpin had seven points and McKee had six points. Mallory Miller and Kai Wesemann added three points apiece.
To get to the championship game, the Chicks had a solid 58-37 victory over Belton in the first round Jan. 7 and a 46-31 win over Clinton in the semifinals Jan. 9.
“Overall it was a nice week for the girls,” Underwood said. “Both the Clinton and the Grain Valley games were nice tests for us.”
The Chicks now have a 9-2 record. Kindred Wesemann, Schick and Orpin were all named to the all-tournament team.