Posted: Friday, 04 January 2013 11:17PM

Lady Chiefs dominate with strong guard play



Springfield, Mo. (For OzarksSportsZone.com)  -- Having dynamic guard play can catapult a team from being average to being great. In its Friday night showdown at home against the Lebanon Lady Yellowjackets, Kickapoo’s backcourt came out dominant in all phases of the game.

The Lady Chiefs’ guard play was the key to the 66-37 victory over Lebanon.

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Sophomore guards Jordyn Danzer, Bre Taylor, and freshman Laura Vierkant brought their top performances against the Lady Yellow Jackets. Danzer was Kickapoo’s top scoring threat early.
  
In the first-half alone, Danzer scored 16 points. Her range was key to spreading out the opposing defense. With Danzer’s hot hand from behind the three-point line, players like Vierkant and the team’s two inside players, Natalie Closser and Hannah Schumacher, were able to score at will.
 
“My shots were just falling and I was able to get open and make them when I got the ball,” said Danzer.
  
The Lady Chiefs’ defense was performing as well as their offense in the first half. After the opening quarter of play, Kickapoo led 21-8. Due to its full-court defense and trapping during Lebanon’s half-court offense, Kickapoo was able to force 16 first-half turnovers. Many of those turnovers resulted in transition lay-ups on the opposite end for the Lady Chiefs. By the end of the first half, Kickapoo had gained a 21-point lead.
 
“It is really important to get that early lead and get our momentum going instead of starting slow and getting behind,” said Danzer.
 
Lebanon was able to handle the adversity better in the second quarter, breaking the press Kickapoo was applying. Yet the Lady Yellow Jackets had trouble finishing both offensive and defensive possessions, allowing Kickapoo to continue to grow the lead.
 
In the second-half, Lebanon was able to contain Kickapoo’s scoring attack by limiting it’s own turnovers. The Lady Jackets guards improved their ball handling and were able to set up the team’s half-court offense more effectively.
 
However, the hole Lebanon dug itself into during the first-half proved too large to overcome. Though Danzer, Vierkant, Taylor, and Closser were not scoring to the same degree they were in the first-half, they were able to control the tempo of the game on offense and command the defense. The leadership provided by these young players has proved invaluable throughout the season.
 
After combining for 34 of the team’s 39 first half points, Vierkant, Closser, and Danzer combined for only 17 points in the second half. Even without their dynamic scoring attack, Kickapoo was able to retain a 52-26 lead after the third quarter.

Lebanon kept its starters on the floor for the remainder of the game, allowing them to gain some momentum heading into the next game. Forward Kelsey Pemberton led the Lady Yellow Jackets in scoring with 11 points, seven of them coming in the second-half. Guard Rachael Morris also added seven points to the team’s scoring efforts.
 
“This really keeps our confidence up and will make us want to practice harder and prepare better and we will do that for Hillcrest Monday,” said Danzer.
 
Kickapoo’s bench finished the game for the team, sealing the 66-37 victory. Kickapoo will take the confidence gained from this win into Monday as they go to Hillcrest. Lebanon will attempt to rebound from the loss at home on Monday as they face Glendale.
 
Kickapoo Scoring: Jordyn Danzer 19, Natalie Closser 18, Laura Vierkant 14, Hannah Harding 4, Annie Lewis 3, Sharon Lopez 3, Hannah Schumacher 3, Bre Taylor 2
 
Lebanon Scoring: Kelsey Pemberton 11, Rachael Morris 7, Emily Hough 5, Renee Hudson 4, Mikayla Widhalm 4, Mikayln Callahan 3, Ashton Light 3

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