The Kickapoo Lady Chiefs used their full-court pressure defense to force 21 first-half turnovers in their 53-17 win over cross-town rival Glendale in Monday night’s Ozark Conference matchup.
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Glendale finished with 31 turnovers on the night.
“All we wanted to do was come out and play our hardest,” said Lady Chiefs freshman Laura Vierkant. “We just communicated very well and never gave up.”
Vierkant ended the night with a game high 19 points, even after sitting most of the first-half due to foul trouble.
“You have to create your own shots at times,” said Vierkant. “But most of the time, you just need to get open."
The Lady Chiefs used a 1-2-2 full court press the whole night, which created havoc for the Lady Falcons.
“We are both young teams,” said Kickapoo coach Jim Pendergrass. “I felt like we had more depth than them and we just wanted to wear them down on defense.”
Only four players on Glendale’s 15 player roster are not freshmen, including just one senior. On the other side, Kickapoo, who has no seniors, has just five upper classmen.
“I played 11 or 12 deep most of the time tonight,” said Pendergrass. “We just changed defense on them a lot and anytime you do that to a young team, it will really confuse them.”
Pendergrass was very pleased with the way his girls played in the second half after to what he believes was a sloppy first-half.
“We came into half with the attitude of start taking care of the ball and quit fouling so far away from the basket,” said Pendergrass. “Once we did that, we wanted to make sure in the second to either get lay-ups or just get the ball inside to our post players.”
Vierkant received help from sophomore post player Natalie Closser. She scored 12 points and added seven steals.
Although Glendale outrebounded Kickapoo, 18-14, the Lady Falcons didn’t have a double digit scorer Monday night. They were led by freshman Mariah Starks with eight points.
With the loss, Glendale falls to 1-17 on the season. They will play host in their final four games, three of which will be conference games. They host city rival Parkview on Thursday.
Kickapoo improves to 12-9. They host Joplin on Thursday. They have four games left on the season before districts, with the next three games coming against conference opponents.