By Anthony Jones
Entering the week at 6-3, Triad’s girls basketball team took on a pair of local opponents in Collinsville and Highland last week.
The first showdown came on December 13 as the Collinsville Kahoks traveled to Triad High School. Entering the contest, the Kahoks held a 7-5 record.
Avery Bohnenstiehl and Kendall Chigas scored the first 10 points of the game, giving the hosts an early 10-0 lead. This advantage quickly was slashed however, as 8 points from Jenna Scheller pushed Collinsville on a 10-2 stretch to go down 12-10.
Scoring 11 of the next 15 points, Triad quickly swung the momentum back in their favor into the second quarter. Taking the first free throw of the night with 2:20 left in the half, Maddie Hunt extended the lead out to 24-14.
Coming out of the half down 25-16, the Kahoks worked their way back into the game after scoring the first four points of the third quarter. Triad started regrowing their lead however and led at 37-27 after Megan Janson took Collinsville’s first free throw attempt of the night with 1:27 left in the quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same as the Lady Knights outscored the visitors 11-10, giving them a 53-37 victory.
Top scorers for the night for Triad were Bohnenstiehl, Kendall Chigas, and Reagan Chigas who all hit double digit points. Kendall Chigas led the way with 16 points, while Reagan Chigas and Bohnenstiehl scored 13 and 10, respectively.
“Whenever we’ve got three girls in double digits we’re pretty good and our defense, obviously that’s our key and I think we took them out of a lot of things they wanted to do. We just got them out of kilter all night and sped them up,” Triad’s Head Coach Josh Hunt quipped after his team’s victory.
On the other side of the court, Scheller racked up 12 points to go with 7 rebounds to lead the Kahoks. Talesha Gilmore also recorded 8 points and 7 boards on the night.
Three days later, the Lady Knights traveled to take on the Highland Bulldogs. Prior to their matchup, Triad had not defeated their rivals since 2015 and had not beaten them in Highland since 2010.
Looking to break their winning drought against the Bulldogs, Triad ran out to an 8-2 advantage. A short while later, Highland found themselves in the driver’s seat as they went up 10-8.
As the lead continued to bounce back and forth for the remainder of the first half, the visitors trailed 19-17 with a minute left to play. Triad closed out the half with 4 unanswered points however, giving them a 21-19 score headed into intermission.
Fueled by 4 points from Grace Wilke, Highland started biting back early in the third quarter by snatching up a 28-23 advantage. Becoming only the fourth Lady Knight to score on the night, Maddie Hunt would draw the game back within one point at 31-30 late in the third quarter. Kendall Chigas closed out the period with 4 more points in Triad’s favor to put them up 35-31.
A deep three from Alex Schultz with 3:00 left to play would later move Highland within one possession as they trailed 45-42. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, those would be their final points of the game as they went on to lose 51-42.
With a stat line of 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 steals, Bohnenstiehl led the charge for the Lady Knights. Kendall Chigas recorded 18 more points in the effort and Reagan Chigas scored 8 more of her own. The only other Triad players to score were Maddie Hunt and Kathryn Weber, scoring 4 and 2 respectively.
Highland’s top scorer, Emma Warner, finished with 14 points after shooting 58% for the game. Wilke also had a solid outing as she scored 10 points and hit 3 of 4 shots from deep.
Coach Hunt spoke about his top three scorers that combined 45 points on the night, “Obviously they did a tremendous job. Avery’s athleticism is at the point of our press and she’s really getting confidence in her offensive game, so that’s tremendous. Then the Chigas sisters, I’ve been their coach for about 27 games so I’ve been begging them to be aggressive in the last two games they finally have been and I think that’s showing.”
He also added, “We’ve still got two, or three or maybe four other capable girls in a varsity game that can go get some points, so I’m encouraged. Sami battled her tail off. She’s been underneath the weather a little bit so for her to come out and gut it out was impressive and then Kathryn Weber has been really good for us lately. My daughter, Maddie, I think she’s been finding her niche a little bit you know she’s been a little bit struggling here lately but she’ll be fine she’ll continue to grow.”