By Christopher Tenpenny
After two months, 18 games and 64 days, the Harrisonville girls’ basketball team saw its 17-game winning streak come to an end following a 51-37 loss to Grandview Saturday at Belton.
“We hate losing,” head coach BryAnn Middleton said. “Nobody was happy in the locker room after the game, but we focused on the positives. Grandview is a good team and want our whole schedule to be filled with games like that.”
The Lady Cats played Grandview close for most of the game, but the size discrepancy between the two teams caught up to Harrisonville. Grandview had 17 offensive rebounds, 19 second-chance points and 24 points in the paint.
“We knew they were pretty big and they kept pounding the ball inside,” Middleton said. “I think had we had fresher legs, we may’ve been able to handle it better.”
The loss Saturday came less than 24 hours after Harrisonville extended its winning streak to 17 games with a 49-32 win over Warrensburg at Harrisonville. The Lady Cats came out fast, jumping out to a 15-6 lead in the first quarter.
Warrensburg was able to keep the game around 10 points for most of the game, but never poses a threat to overtaking the lead.
As they’ve done all year, the Lady Cats used their full-court press to wear down Warrensburg and forced them into 25 turnovers.
Like Grandview, Warrensburg also had a height advantage, but the Lady Cats were able to limit them to just 10 points in the paint. Middleton gave a lot of credit to senior Desta Mitchell for her post defense.
“I told Desta that she was guarding the best posts in the conference along with herself,” Middleton said. “I knew I could leave her on an island and she only scored one field goal in the second half. Mitchell added eight points and 10 rebounds. Offensively, the Lady Cats were led by Madison Johnson and Karsen Graves. Johnson scored 18 points while Graves added 15 points. Johnson has been the go-to scorer all season but over the past five games, Graves is averaging a team best 12 points per game.
“Both of them have been so good for us,” Middleton said. “MJ is such a good ball handler and uses it to get to the rim. Karsen has caught fire here and is shooting the ball great. She’s getting more aggressive.” The schedule does not lighten up for the Lady Cats as they will travel to Excelsior Springs tonight and play Leeton tomorrow night at Harrisonville.
The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m