Pete Logan
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner-Edgerton girls varsity basketball team saw the Shawnee Mission South Lady Raiders engage on a 6-0 run in the first 2.5 minutes of the first quarter and 5-1 run in the last 2.5 of the same frame. Those two runs built an edge the visitors from South would not give up, as they downed the Trailblazers 49-38 at GEHS Gymnasium Dec. 14.
The Raiders used a combination of stout defense and inside-outside offense to build a 14-6 edge after one quarter. In the second quarter, the Trailblazers kept it within striking distance at 15-9 with just over six minutes left in the first half, but a 7-0 South spurt built the visiting team’s lead to 13 with 2:16 left in the first half. However, GEHS freshman point guard Kaelin Platt nailed a top-of-the-key three-pointer off an assist from junior forward Sadie Watkins, then sank a pair from the charity stripe to make the score 22-14 with just under a minute left. Yet the Raiders’ senior shooting guard Meredith Bunker hit a left corner three just before the half to give SMS a 25-14 edge going into the locker room.
The Raiders built up their lead by as much as 20 in the third quarter. However, Platt ended the third period with another trey from the top of the key — this one of an assist from junior forward Trinity Taylor — to cut the lead to 17 at 37-20 going into the last 8 minutes of the contest.
The Blazers began slowly chipping away at South’s lead in the 4th quarter. Four consecutive free throws from, first, senior post Madyson Beasley, and then Platt cut the deficit to 13. GEHS junior post Mia Vallery later sank a bucket in the lane off an assist from senior point guard Katie Whittley to cut it to 12 at 40-28. As the quarter wound down, Taylor sank back-to-back baskets to cut the deficit to single digits at 47-38. However, time wound down on the home team, and the Blazers fell 49-38.
Vallery led the Trailblazers in scoring and rebounding with 14 points and seven boards, while Platt had 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Taylor recorded six points, five rebounds, and two steals, while Beasley added six points, four boards, and two steals. Whittley paced the team with three assists.