Girls Clinch League Title, Win 10th Straight

Tiffany Anthony looks between teammate Air'shay Lampkin (left) and Kiandra Van of Bayless last week in Brentwood. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Tiffany Anthony looks between teammate Air’shay Lampkin (left) and Kiandra Van of Bayless last week in Brentwood. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

4th-seeded Eagles will play JFK in district playoffs Monday

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

The Brentwood High School girls basketball team continued its dominance of conference opponents last week, clobbering Hancock and Bayless by a combined margin of 74 points to clinch the league title. With one South Central AA Conference game remaining, the Eagles are 7-0, way ahead of second-place Hancock’s 4-3.

Sophia Rivera rises over Asia Cunningham of Bayless for a jump shot.
Sophia Rivera shoots over Asia Cunningham of Bayless. Rivera had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

“The conference is kind of down this year, or maybe we’re that good, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little of both,” said BHS coach Chris Jones.

Brentwood, 17-3 and on a 10-game win streak, plays its final two games of the regular season this week. The district tournament starts next Monday, Feb. 23, at Principia. Fourth-seeded BHS will play fifth-seeded John F. Kennedy, a team they beat by 14 points on Feb. 2. If they win, they will probably play top-seeded Whitfield in the semifinals. If they beat Whitfield they will probably face second-seeded John Burroughs for the district championship.

Jones knows that Brentwood being seeded No. 4 despite its 17-3 record means that Whitfield (9-11) and Burroughs (12-9) have tougher schedules. He’s concerned that his players, who have beaten conference foes by an average margin of 30 points, will expect the same light resistance next week. To send a message, he had them run nonstop for 30 minutes in one practice last week.

“Right now our effort is very poor in practice,” Jones said last week. “We’re just not playing hard because it’s been easy for us. We’re not playing a full 32 minutes. When we play John Burroughs or Whitfield or Principia, we’re going to need to play a full 32.”

Freshman standout Marshelle Franklin thinks the Eagles can pull together for all 32 minutes.

“I have a good feeling about district,” she said. “If we can work hard like we’ve done in some of our games, and have that same intensity, then we can win.”

Air'shay Lampkin grabs a loose ball amongst three Bayless players.
Air’shay Lampkin grabs a loose ball amongst three Bayless players.

‘Future looks great for us’

Jones is concerned about next week but in the long term he’s very optimistic: “I’d say the future looks great for us for the next four years.”

He’s alluding to the fact that three of his top five scorers and three of his top five rebounders are freshmen. The ninth-grade class also provides the two players with the most steals and two of the top three in assists and in blocked shots. The players with all those stats are Franklin, Nija Price and Caroline Snare.

Marshelle Franklin goes in for a layup against Bayless.
Marshelle Franklin goes in for a layup against Bayless.
Nija Price scores on a steal and a layup against Bayless.
Nija Price scores on a steal and a layup against Bayless.
Caroline Snare puts up a shot between Bayless's Kiandra Van (left) and Mariah Smith.
Caroline Snare puts up a shot between Bayless’s Kiandra Van (left) and Mariah Smith.

South Central AA Conference
Standings as of Feb. 16
Brentwood 7-0
Hancock 4-3
Bayless 2-5
Crossroads 1-3
Valley Park 1-4

Abby Harper shoots over Alexis Clemons of Bayless.
Abby Harper shoots over Alexis Clemons of Bayless.

Feb. 10: won at Hancock 87-38
Brentwood exploded for 29 points in the first quarter and 25 in the third on the way to its biggest point total of the season. Sophia Rivera eclipsed 20 in both points and rebounds and Franklin was three steals shy of having a quadruple double in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Key stats: Brentwood made 24 steals, blocked 15 shots and sank eight three-pointers. Leaders: Rivera, 23 rebounds, 20 points (10-19 FG), five blocks; Franklin, 18 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, seven steals; Price, 19 points, five steals; Abby Harper, 15 points; Air’shay Lampkin, nine rebounds; Tiffany Anthony, nine points; Hancock’s Adrienne Compton, 12 points.

Head coach Chris Jones talks to Air'shay Lampkin during a break in the action.
Head coach Chris Jones talks to Air’shay Lampkin during a break in the action.

Feb. 13: won vs. Bayless 60-35
The Eagles settled with a 24-point first quarter. Key stats: 24 of Brentwood’s 50 rebounds were offensive. The Eagles had 18 steals and 12 blocks. Leaders: Franklin, 20 points (10-19 FG), nine rebounds, eight assists, seven steals, six blocks; Price, 19 points, 10 rebounds, six steals; Rivera, 12 rebounds, 11 points, six blocks; Bayless’s Asia Cunningham, 18 points.

Gabby Gombas (left) and Megan Jones smile about something in the fourth quarter of the Bayless game.
Gabby Gombas (left) and Megan Jones smile about something in the Bayless game.

St. Louis leaders
Three Eagles are ranked in the top six in the St. Louis area in three categories, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. As of Feb. 14, Franklin is No. 2 in assists per game (7.20) and steals (6.45), Rivera is No. 2 in blocked shots (4.44) and No. 3 in rebounds (13.5), and Price is No. 6 in steals (4.95).

Nija Price keeps the defensive pressure on Adrianna Naggi of Bayless.
Nija Price keeps the defensive pressure on Adrianna Naggi of Bayless.

BHS is 17-3 as of Feb. 15
Dec. 8: won vs. McKinley 60-25
Dec. 10: won vs. Lift for Life 53-43
Dec. 12: won vs. Carnahan 83-29
Jan. 5: won vs. Soldan 54-22 at Burroughs Invitational
Jan. 7: won vs. Roosevelt 63-31 at Burroughs Invitational
Jan. 9: lost to John Burroughs 45-30 at Burroughs Invitational
Jan. 12: lost at Clayton 55-30
Jan. 13: won vs. Crossroads 52-25
Jan. 14: won at Trinity 64-33
Jan. 16: lost at Villa Duchesne 61-55
Jan. 20: won vs. MRH 77-53
Jan. 21: won vs. Normandy 52-16
Jan. 23: won vs. Hancock 70-37
Jan. 26: won vs. University City 62-55
Jan. 27: won at Bayless 60-30
Jan. 30: won vs. Valley Park 50-25
Feb. 2: won at JFK 48-34
Feb. 3: won at Crossroads 46-22
Feb. 10: won at Hancock 87-38
Feb. 13: won vs. Bayless 60-35
Games remaining
Feb. 17 at Valley Park
Feb. 18 host Orchard Farm, senior night

Marshelle  Franklin shoots a free throw in the Bayless game.
Marshelle Franklin shoots a free throw in the Bayless game.

Class 3, District 4 tournament at Principia
Feb. 23, 5 p.m., vs. John F. Kennedy
Feb. 25, 5 p.m., vs. probably Whitfield (if win on Feb. 23)
Feb. 27, 6 p.m., vs. probably John Burroughs (if win on Feb. 25)

District tournament seeding – voted by coaches
1. Whitfield, 9-11 (lost to Burroughs by one)
2. John Burroughs, 12-9 (beat BHS by 15)
3. Principia, 6-17 (beat Burroughs by five)
4. Brentwood, 17-3 (beat JFK by 14)
5. JFK, 8-15
6. MRH, 8-16
7. Valley Park, 6-18
8. Cleveland ROTC, 4-12

Megan Jones looks for a teammate in heavy traffic.
Megan Jones looks for a teammate in heavy traffic.
Fans congratulate Brentwood players on their victory over Bayless. The postgame tradition started last season and seems to be growing in popularity. The line of fans stretched almost the entire length of the court after the Bayless game.
Fans congratulate Brentwood players on their victory over Bayless. The postgame tradition started last season and seems to be growing in popularity. The line of fans stretched almost the entire length of the court after the Bayless game.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s