By Anthony Jones
Returning to full strength just in time for a tough stretch of games, Triad’s girls basketball team put together a strong week of play last week.
They kicked the week off with a Tuesday night trip to take on the Mt.Vernon Rams. The host entered with a 13-2 mark, with their two losses coming to a Kentucky squad and top-ranked Okawville.
After two quarters of play, the Lady Knights entered halftime down 18-16. In the third quarter, they took the lead into their hands however and went up 29-25.
A late rally from the Rams tightened the game up, allowing them to set up a buzzer beating shot to win 40-38.
Avery Bohnenstiehl had a big performance in the close loss, as she tallied 16 points and 8 steals. With a dozen points of her own, Kendall Chigas also impressed in the tight game.
Back on their home court, Triad played host to the Waterloo Bulldogs on January 13. In the midst of the winningest season in school history, Waterloo was 19-3 prior to the matchup.
Kendall Chigas helped the host get off on the right foot, scoring 7 points in the first 8 minutes. This helped the team take a 16-10 lead early on.
An 8-0 run helped the visitors tie things up at 18-18, but the Lady Knights knocked down the final 7 points of the half to take a 25-18 lead into the intermission. Triad’s second scoring featured no player hitting more than one basket.
A slowed pace of play in the third quarter started off sour for the Lady Knights, as their lead was trimmed to as small as 3 points. Some big shots late, including threes from Reagan Chigas and Maddie Hunt allowed them to regrow their lead however, going up 33-23.
The Bulldogs made up some ground at the end of the contest, but Triad still left with a wire to wire win at 39-33.
Coach Josh Hunt said of his team’s strategy that moved them to 2-1 against Waterloo this season, “It’s just kind of who we are and obviously they’ve got two really really good players in Lindhorst and Gum so we focused on them, but that’s nothing’s changed. We just took care of the ball a little bit better than in the first loss of the year, which was the second game of the year, and we turned the ball over 31 times.”
Next up for the team was their first round matchup in the talent loaded Highland tournament.
The team’s head coach commented on the depth of the tournament, “It’s the reason why we get in it. It’s filled with phenomenal teams and we drew Belleville West and they’re really athletic and really good. If we happen to win that, we get Okawville who’s the number one team in state in 1A so it’ll be a great challenge.”
Triad did happen to win their game against the Belleville West Maroons, which was played on January 15.
The first half against the 9-9 Maroons didn’t look like it would lead to a victory for Triad, as they trailed 28-17. But the resilient Lady Knights weren’t done just yet.
Putting together a masterclass on defense, Triad held their opponent to a mere three points in the third quarter. Their offense lit up the scoreboard in the meantime, putting them up 33-31.
Outsourcing Belleville West 19-10, Triad put a bow on their victory in the fourth quarter. This gave them a 52-41 win and an advancement to play Okawville on January 17.
The duo of Kendall and Reagan Chigas shined in the come from behind win, racking up 18 and 13 points, respectively. Bohnenstiehl also impressed with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 steals.
The week’s action improved Triad’s record to 14-6 overall and 6-1 in their last 7 games. Triad is now 5-2 in the highly competitive Mississippi Valley Conference.