Girls Win 4 in a Row; Price, Gordon Arrive

Abby Harper looks for an open teammate against Clayton on Jan. 12. She scored 15 points recently in the game with Triinity Catholic. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Abby Harper looks for an open teammate against Clayton on Jan. 11. She scored 15 points recently in the game with Trinity Catholic. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Team to play Clayton in tourney semifinal tonight

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

The Brentwood High School girls basketball team is finally on a winning streak. The Eagles beat Liberty Wentzville in the first round of the Affton Tournament on Saturday, their fourth win in a row. In the 11 days before that they conquered Villa Duchesne, Trinity Catholic and Crossroads.

So after being 1-4 then 3-6 this season, Brentwood faces Clayton tonight in the Affton Tournament with a record of 7-6. They lost to Clayton by 21 on Jan. 11, but they’re a different team now, for three reasons.

First, last year’s starting forward Nija Price is back on the roster after missing all but the past three games. She rejoined the team for the Trinity game and promptly scored 10 points. She contributed 11 rebounds against Villa Duchesne and 17 points against Liberty.

Second, recent Kirkwood transfer student Imani Gordon started playing in the Liberty game and got six rebounds and three blocks. She’s a freshman.

Third, the team’s small roster — eight players before Price and Gordon arrived — have allowed the younger players to develop. Freshman Maggie Callihan scored a season-high 18 points against Liberty.

Nija Price sits with Sophia Rivera (left) and Abby Harper in the victory over Crossroads. Price is now back in uniform after missing the first 13 games of the season.
Nija Price sits with Sophia Rivera (left) and Abby Harper in the Jan. 12 victory over Crossroads. Price is now back in uniform after missing the first 10 games of the season. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Jan. 23: beat Liberty Wentzville 54-49 at Affton Tournament
Trailing by 9 with 8 minutes left, BHS went on a 26-12 run to win it. Key stats: Sophia Rivera didn’t play but three Brentwood players scored in double figures and four had at least five rebounds. BHS leaders: Maggie Callihan, 18 points (6-11 FG); Nija Price, 17 points (6-14 FG); Marshelle Franklin, 12 points (2-11 FG), 7 steals, 3 blocks; Imani Gordon, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks. Liberty leaders: Avery Ingle, 26 points; Savannah Kruse, 8 rebounds; Tori Harris, 8 rebounds.

Sophia Rivera shoots over Clayton's Claire Millett.
Sophia Rivera shoots over Clayton’s Claire Millett.

Jan. 15: beat Villa Duchesne 37-35
Key stats: Neither team shot well but the Eagles had 17 more rebounds, made seven more free throws and blocked 10 more shots than did the Saints. BHS leaders: Sophia Rivera, 12 rebounds, 10 points (5-9 FG), 6 steals, 6 blocks; Marshelle Franklin, 11 points (4-14 FG); Abby Harper, 5 steals, 5 assists; Price, 11 rebounds. Villa leaders: Olivia Reece, 11 points; Emma Deines, 7 rebounds; Emma Mueller, 7 rebounds.

Marshelle Franklin flips a pass around Daishanae Crittenden.
Marshelle Franklin flips a pass around Daishanae Crittenden.

Jan. 13: beat Trinity Catholic 47-38
Key stats: The teams shot and rebounded similarly but BHS committed six fewer turnovers and made nine more steals. BHS leaders: Abby Harper, 15 points (7-13 FG); Sophia Rivera, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks; Marshelle Franklin, 11 points (4-10 FG), 8 steals, 6 assists; Nija Price, 10 points (4-11 FG). Trinity leader: Lauren Smith, 14 points, 9 rebounds.

Head coach Chris Jones and assistant coach Andy Nieters (right) outline a play during a timeout in the Clayton game.
Head coach Chris Jones and assistant coach Andy Nieters (right) outline a play during a timeout in the Clayton game.

Brentwood’s Results — 7-6 as of Jan. 24
Nov. 30: lost to Timberland 50-29 at Orchard Farm Tourn.
Dec. 2: beat Orchard Farm 41-40 at Orchard Farm Tourn.
Dec. 4: lost to Fort Zumwalt North 48-17 at Orchard Farm Tourn.
Dec. 7: lost to McKinley 41-38
Dec. 9: lost to Lift for Life 32-22
Jan. 4: beat Soldan 52-50 at John Burroughs Tourn.
Jan. 6: beat Roosevelt 51-16 at John Burroughs Tourn.
Jan. 8: lost to John Burroughs 39-23 at Burroughs Tourn.
Jan. 11: lost to Clayton 55-34
Jan. 12: beat Crossroads 51-16
Jan. 13: beat Trinity Catholic 47-38
Jan. 15: beat Villa Duchesne 37-35
Jan. 23: beat Liberty Wentzville 54-49 at Affton Tourn.
Upcoming:
Jan. 25, 8 p.m., vs. Clayton at Affton Tourn.
Jan. 26, at Affton Tourn.
Jan. 29, 6:30 p.m., at Valley Park
Feb. 1, 6 p.m., host Kennedy
Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m., at Crossroads
Feb. 5, 5 p.m., at Maplewood-Richmond Heights
Feb. 8, 6 p.m., host Bayless
Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m., at Hancock
Feb. 12, 6 p.m., at Bayless
Feb. 16, 6:30 p.m., host Valley Park
Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m., host Hancock

Gabby Gombas drives on Claire Millett of Clayton.
Gabby Gombas drives on Brooke Jones and Claire Millett of Clayton.
Megan Jones goes for a loose ball.
Megan Jones fights Brooke Jones for a loose ball.
Maggie Callihan heads for the basket.
Maggie Callihan heads for the basket. She’s covered by Erin Elliot of Clayton.
Logan Darrow covers a Crossroads player.
Logan Darrow covers a Crossroads player.
Amanda Ingersoll (left) and Logan Darrow aply the heat to a Crossroads player.
Amanda Ingersoll (left) and Logan Darrow pressure Blaire Williams of Crossroads.
Sophia Rivera launches a short jumper over Clayton's Pierce Sams.
Sophia Rivera launches a short jumper over Clayton’s Pierce Sams.
Abby Harper aims from outside.
Abby Harper aims from outside.
Marshelle Franklin heads for the paint.
Marshelle Franklin heads for the paint, accompanied by Brooke Jones (left) and Daishanae Crittenden.
Gabby Gombas tries to shoot over Claire Millett.
Gabby Gombas tries to shoot over Claire Millett.
Megan Jones (left) and Maggie Callihan trap a Clayton player and Jones goes for the ball.
Megan Jones goes for the ball as she and Maggie Callihan trap a Clayton player.
Sophia Rivera scoops up another rebound.
Sophia Rivera scoops up another rebound.
Maggie Callihan shoots. She scored a season-high 18 against Liberty Wentzville.
Maggie Callihan shoots. She scored a season-high 18 against Liberty Wentzville.
Logan Darrow covers Blaire Williams of Crossroads.
Logan Darrow covers Blaire Williams of Crossroads.
Amanda Ingersoll races for the ball against Crossroads.
Amanda Ingersoll races for the ball against Blaire Williams of Crossroads.

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