Chaffee girls basketball tops Delta in conference tournament quarterfinal
DELTA, Mo. -- The Chaffee girls basketball team used a big third-quarter swing and a strong second half from Katie Glueck to rally by host Delta 46-35 on Monday night in a quarterfinal of the Scott-Mississippi Conference Tournament at Delta High School.
The fifth-seeded Bobcats led through much of the first two quarters, taking a 19-17 lead to halftime and making it a four-point advantage moments into the third quarter.
But No. 4 Chaffee used a 10-0 run during the final 4 minutes, 35 seconds of the period to take a 34-25 lead into the fourth quarter and hang on for the win and a semifinal meeting with top-seeded Oran on Wednesday.
"I didn't think we took great shots a lot of the time, so we talked about that at halftime and told them to value their shot. And if they're going to take a shot, make it a good shot," Chaffee coach Andrew Boone said.
"We go a little too fast a lot of times, so we have to constantly remind our girls to slow down. The last couple of games, we've done better after being able to remind them at halftime. ... The defense can take things away, but they can't take away everything. It's our job to figure out what that weak spot is."
The Red Devils (7-4) shot just 24 percent in the first half, but a more assertive approach with and without the ball allowed them to rectify that in the final two periods.
Glueck scored just four points in the first half but finished with a double-double, going for 16 points and 12 rebounds along with five steals.
Kylie Wilhite finished with nine points and seven boards for Chaffee.
"[Glueck] does a lot of good things in the second half, (but) sometimes it seems like it takes those first two quarters," Boone said. "I'm constantly telling her, 'We want the third- and fourth-quarter Katie.'
"... Tonight I thought she did a great job defensively getting there and getting deflections and steals, and that helps her teammates get up the floor; and a couple of times she ran down the middle of the floor, and we were able to find her and get some easier looks."
The Bobcats (6-7) faced the challenge of not only taking on Chaffee but also the sudden defection of one of the team's leaders in sophomore Macey Smith, who departed the team Friday.
That left Delta two days to figure out how to handle her loss, not just on the court but in the locker room.
"We've had a little bit of adversity, and it was a shock for the kids. So the kids had to overcome that," Delta coach Carl Ritter Jr. said. "They came out with a lot of heart and a [good bond]. It was a good ball game until there in the end. But we made some mistakes, and [Chaffee] took advantage. They kind of lost focus, and their minds wandered from what it was all about.
"It was very emotional for them after it was over. ... We're dealt curveballs all our lives, and these are kids learning to deal with those things. I think they handled it very well, and I couldn't be more proud of them."
Tamera Dennis paced the Bobcats with 15 points, five steals and four assists.
"[The team] does feed off of Tamera," Ritter said, "and in every game we've won, she steps up and shows leadership. And the other kids follow, and they play well. She did that tonight."
Delta, which had just six players rostered for the game, got off to a positive start, with Dennis knocking down a 3-pointer to give the hosts their first lead of the game, 6-4, at 5:11 in the first quarter.
The Bobcats never trailed again in the first half, leading by as many as four points on a Cooper Simpson 3 inside the second quarter's final minute before taking a 19-17 lead into halftime.
Delta hit four shots from outside the arc in the first half but none in the second half.
"To Delta's credit, they made some shots," Boone said. "We were sagging off some of them, and they hit some shots. So we adjusted."
The Bobcats again stretched the lead to four points when Karlee Beggs got a bucket at 7:44 of the third quarter, but Chaffee began to claw its way back.
The Red Devils took a 24-23 lead at the 4:50 mark on a Bailey Wiseman shot -- Chaffee's first lead since the first three minutes of the game -- and then found their rhythm.
By the time Glueck scored with 4 seconds remaining in the third, Chaffee's lead was 34-35, as it outscored Delta 17-6 in the period.
That turned out to be enough to advance in the tournament.
"We had that little lapse, that mental breakdown, and I think we just lost a little composure," Ritter said. "They did kind of regroup there at the end, but it was a little too late.
"Whether we win or we lose, I want the other team to know that they had to play to beat us. ... Chaffee had to play to beat us -- it's obvious they had to play to beat us tonight -- and I told my kids, in my opinion, with the adversity they had to face and you come out here and play neck and neck with a team, that's a win."
Chaffee played without regular starter Mary Beth Knutson, who has been out since a recurring issue with her shoulder flared up last week. She is a question mark for Wednesday's game, though a return is possible. Boone said his No. 1 priority is getting her healthy and mentally prepared for the season's final stretch.
The Red Devils' semifinal matchup with district foe Oran will tip off at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The Eagles defeated No. 8 Scott City 95-15 on Monday.
"We're happy to be able to play another game Wednesday," Boone said.
"The thing I like to tell them is the more we see [Oran] the more we can figure them out. ... We're able to try a bunch of things, see what sticks and what doesn't work."
DELTA (35) -- Alexis Mitchell 4, Cooper Simpson 3, Carrie Waddle 6, Karlee Beggs 7, Tamera Dennis 15. FG 13, FT 5-9, F 13. (3-pointers: Dennis 2, Simpson, Waddle. Fouled out: None.)
CHAFFEE (46) -- Kylie Wilhite 9, Mattison Cline 7, , Katie Glueck 16, Maddie Hendrix 3, Bailey Wiseman 6, Sydney Walker 2, Bridgette Swinford 3. FG 16, FG 10-16, F 13. (3-pointers: Cline 2, Hendrix, Swinford. Fouled out: None.)
- Photos from the game (01/09/17)