The Olathe Lady Pirates were favored to win last Tuesday's non-conference basketball game at Hotchkiss, but they had to work for the win after holding a narrow, four-point lead in the fourth period. The Lady Pirates eventually won the game 47-34.
The Lady Bulldogs (6-4, 2-0, 2A Western Slope League) used the game to prepare for last weekend's conference-openers against Hayden and Soroco.
Playing Olathe before those games "was a huge help," said Katie Richards, one of three post players for Hotchkiss. Last year the two teams opened the season against each other. Playing them now, rather than earlier, offered Hotchkiss the chance to learn from the loss rather than just struggle through the game, said Richards.
"That was an exceptional game," said Richards, who fouled out for the second time this season after scoring four points.
Richards had two blocks against Olathe in the second period and Arial Duncan came off the bench to shoot a trey to trail, 22-19, at halftime.
In the second half, Hotchkiss starting point guard Natalie Anderson was fouled on a 3-point shot and sank all three free throws to bring Hotchkiss to within four points of Olathe midway through the fourth period.
The Pirate defense allowed Hotchkiss only one more goal for the game, scoring nine points in just over three minutes for the win.
Theresa Tafoya and Taylor Gibson led the Lady Pirates with a game-high 15 points, and Amanda Kinderknecht added 13 and Shelby Anderson four points in the win. Olathe is now 8-2 overall, 5-2 in Class 3A WSL competition.
Post player Kylie Hodges scored eight points from the paint for Hotchkiss. Shooting guard Aleksus Wilson added six, Arial Duncan had three and Marissa Cantrell two.
"They made us better, definitely," said Anderson. "I was glad to see how we responded. It was definitely a good game."
Hotchkiss had 10 second-half fouls. The Lady Pirates scored six of their fourth-period points from the line, with Kinderknecht adding seven points in field goals.
Anderson said those fouls and the team's inability to finish inside down the stretch were what hurt them the most. "They made us better, definitely," said Anderson. "I was glad to see how we responded. It was definitely a good game."
Anderson scored a game-high 23 points and Hodges sank seven two-point goals to lift Hotchkiss to a conference-opening 69-29 win at Hayden Friday. Guard Aleksus Wilson scored her nine points in the second period, Pagone hit six of eight free throws to finish the game with eight points, and junior Kellie Jones came off the bench to score four points in the fourth period.
On Saturday, the posts were a dominant factor in the Bulldogs' 61-58 overtime win at Soroco. Richards scored a career-high 19 points and Hodges added 15, including a trey. Hotchkiss was down, 31-29, at the half, and trailed by one at the end of the third. Regulation play ended in a 53-53 tie. Rams senior Jessica Rossi went to the line to score two and managed a 3-pointer, while the defense held the remaining players scoreless. Duncan and Richards scored two goals and the Bulldogs shot 4-6 from the free-throw line for the win.
Anderson again scored in the double digits, shooting 4-4 in free throws and three treys to score 15 points. Wilson and Marissa Cantrell each added four, and Duncan and Pagone two.
"They're our first league game, so we thought it would be awesome to come out 2-0 in the league," said Anderson after the Olathe loss. "Obviously that's always the goal, to go down there and play some good defense, execute on offense, and just have some fun."
Hotchkiss travels this week, facing North Park (2-7, 1-1) Friday and West Grand (6-5, 1-1) Saturday.blog comments powered by Disqus