by John Unrein
The second half was unkind to the Lady Eagles basketball team on January 29th in their 49-33 loss to the Barstow Lady Knights in the championship game of the Sonic Showdown. Turnovers and missed shots by Grain Valley along with the athleticism of Jaelyn and Brylee Glenn for Barstow permitted the scoring gap to widen in favor of the Lady Knights.
The Glenn twin sisters for Barstow are committed to play basketball at Kansas State University. Jaelyn led all scorers during the contest with 19 points, while Brylee added 7 points of her own. The length of both 6 foot sisters on defense hindered the operating space of the Lady Eagles offense to which they are accustom.
Both Glenn sisters and freshman guard Holly Woods were selected to the all-tournament team for Barstow. Grace Slaughter, Gabbi Keim, and Ella Clyman enjoyed being chosen as all-tournament team selections for Grain Valley. Slaughter’s stat line for the Lady Eagles included 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals. Keim would add 5 points and 6 rebounds, as Clyman would contribute 2 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 assist.
“Both of the (Glenn) twins have really long arms and we were not use that. We have Grace (Slaughter), but one person can only do so much. There’s always room for improvement and we will work to get ready for some of the tough teams we will face down the stretch,” Keim said.
Slaughter added, “We struggled to get fast breaks tonight due to their (Barstow’s) quickness and speed. They were staring at us as we were trying to get our offense started on possessions. It was good for us to see this physical play in knowing what we need to work on moving forward.”
Grain Valley (9-4) is scheduled to play five of their final eight regular season games at home. Avoiding bus trips late in the season is typically welcome for a basketball team. Lady Eagles head basketball coach Randy Draper is cognizant of what he wants to see from his young team on the cusp of February basketball.
“We need to get use to playing a team with that type of physicality. Our upcoming games are going to test us in that realm further,” Draper said.
“I was pretty happy with our effort defensively. I told them we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about defense, but this game will be decided offensively.”
“At the end of the first half they only had 18 points, but we had 13. We have to learn how to open and close in the toughest games. You don’t learn that without playing though.”
Draper finished, “We typically speed people up with the way we play, but that happened to us tonight. There were times when we were open and not ready. The film will open our eyes to that, and we can improve.”
Grain Valley point guard Grace Slaughter moved closer to attaining 1,000 career points in the loss to Barstow. A crazy milestone to consider with Slaughter only being a sophomore.
The Lady Eagles will take on William Chrisman and St. Joseph Benton the week of February 1st. The two opposing teams boast a combined record of 18-10, with both upcoming contests being a solid test for Grain Valley.
Senior Jordyn Weems attempts a free throw. Photo credit: John Overstreet
Left to right: All-Tournament team selection members Ella Clyman, Grace Slaughter, Gabbi Keim. Photo credit: Valley News staff
Grace Slaughter receives an entry pass into the post, looking for space.
Photo credit: John Overstreet