Varsity Basketball

Heights insiders lead way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Heights forward Jhasmin Bowen and her teammates got just what they wanted in their 81-61 victory over Webb City (Mo.) in the Hy-Vee Shootout on Friday night.

Webb City forced them to make adjustments and play harder than they had in four easy City League victories.

"We wanted to play this game really bad," Bowen said. "We wanted some competition. We wanted to come down here and know what it was like to fight for a win. We did it. We had a good time."

Webb City (7-1), the defending Missouri Class 4 champion, outscored top-ranked Heights (5-0) in the first quarter 19-16 and it was tied at 33 by halftime. That marked the first time this season that Heights has trailed after a quarter or entered the half without a lead.

Webb City forward Kaitlin Jaeger dominated the Falcons in the paint during the first half, scoring 18 of her 32 points. Her presence, coupled with nine first-half turnovers, made for 16 minutes of a close game for Heights.

Heights coach Kip Pulliam challenged his team at halftime to prove that it could play its brand of basketball against a quality team. He was pleased with how it responded.

"They're a good team. You're going to have turnovers," Pulliam said. "In the second half, once I challenged them, they came out with a lot more execution and taking care of the ball. Then we ended up winning big."

The Falcons went on an 11-2 run that spanned from the final two minutes of the third quarter to the first two possessions of the fourth quarter. Mary Sims scored seven of her 26 points during that stretch, including a buzzer-beating rebound basket to end the third quarter, to help her team lead 63-50.

"She (Sims) keeps the team fired up," Pulliam said. "You can see her energy, and she keeps a lot of people involved."

Bowen (24 points, 14 rebounds) and Tahlia Pope (11 points, six rebounds) combined for 14 points off offensive rebounds. Pope had three steals.

"We leaned on Jhasmin offensively. She went to work and crashed the boards," Sims said. "Tahlia is a great defensive player. She played in the passing lanes and got her steals. I saw a lot of heart from them tonight."

Wichita Heights (5-0) 16 17 26 22 — 81 Webb City, Mo. (7-1) 19 14 17 11 — 61

WICHITA HEIGHTS: Chandler 3 1-2 7, Pope 4 2-4 11, Sims 10 3-5 26, Chisom 2 0-0 4, Jhasmin Bowen 7 8-12 22, Lynch 1 0-0 2, Jharian Bowen 2 0-0 4, Palmer 1 0-0 3, Ivy 1 0-0 2, Harding 0 0-2 0. Totals 31 (5) 14-25 81.

WEBB CITY: Baker 1 0-0 2, Campbell 0 0-1 0, Roderique 4 5-7 13, Jaeger 13 6-9 32, Clark 2 4-4 10, Gannaway 1 1-2 4. Totals: 21 (3) 16-23 61.

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