By Christopher Tenpenny
It was a game of two halves for both the Harrisonville girls’ basketball team as they turned a 14-point deficit into a 14 point win, winning 56-42 against Butler on Jan.12 at Harrisonville.
Harrisonville (4-4) played a competitive first quarter before surrendering 20 points in the second quarter. Butler (4-7) was playing their first game without leading scorer Blair Miller and head coach Bradley Diehl said he was pleased with the first half effort.
“We just played well together,” Diehl said. “We were moving the ball around and everything was clicking. We got into a rhythm and played a good half of basketball.”
Everything changed in the second half as Butler was unable to get any offense going. The Bears scored six points total in the second half.
“We stopped communicating on defense,” Diehl said. “We’ve played good three-point shooters before and stopped them, but we didn’t close out tonight and you saw what happened.”
What happened was Harrisonville senior Kaetlyn Vandendaele caught fire and made four three-point field goals in the third quarter alone. Vandendaele finished the game with 17 points to lead all scorers.
“We needed that,” Harrisonville head coach BryAnn Middleton said. “That was a completely different team in the third quarter. That’s the team I see everyday in practice and it was wonderful to see them play like that.”
Middleton credited a lack of effort to the slow start and addressed it at halftime.
“We talked about effort in the locker room,” Middleton said. “We talked about how helping each other on defense and rebounds are effort things. That got them going.”
Sophomore Madison Johnson had her highest point total of the season, scoring 16 for the Lady Cats. Maddie Lalman also reached double figures with 10 points.
For Middleton, it was her first win at home as the head coach.
For the Bears, they continue to search for consistency this season as they deal with injuries. Maciah Bosch led the Bears in points with 17 while Chloe Fritts had 12.
Harrisonville traveled to Oak Grove on Jan. 14 where they won their second consecutive game, this time by a score of 57-48 The Lady Cats led at the end of every quarter.
Vandendael continued her hot steak as she scored 24 points including six three point field goals.
The Wildcats next game is tomorrow night as they travel to Sedalia to take on Smith-Cotton. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.