On a Roll: Girls Have Won 10 of Past 11

Brentwood's Maggie Callihan (left) covers Jill smith of Windsor on Jan. 23. Callihan, a freshman, led the Eagles in scoring last week against Crossroads. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
Maggie Callihan (left) covers a Windsor player on Jan. 26. Brentwood won the game for third place in the Affton Tournament. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

5 Eagles score in double figures against Hancock

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

Last week the Brentwood High School girls basketball team played four games over five days. Exhausting? Actually, they seemed to get stronger as the week passed. On Monday they won by 26 points, on Tuesday by 43, on Wednesday by 70 and on Friday by 67.

Granted, those four opponents have a combined record of 16-59. But ask anybody on the team and she’ll tell you it’s fun to be winning again. After starting the season 1-4, including two humbling routs, the Eagles have now won six in a row and 10 of their last 11.

Brentwood’s bid to repeat as the conference champion is looking great. The team is 4-0 in the South Central and its remaining league games are with Hancock (whom they’ve beaten by 70), Valley Park (beaten by 36) and Bayless, whose record is 3-17.

“The conference is definitely down this year,” explained head coach Chris Jones.

Head coach Chris Jones speaks during a timeout in the fourth period of the Windsor game.
Head coach Chris Jones speaks during a timeout in the fourth period of the Windsor game.

The Eagles have spent much of this season trying to recapture the mojo they had last year when they went 21-4 and outscored league opponents by an average margin of 30 points. Now they might be a little better than that, having outplayed the South Central by an average margin of 46.

“It feels like last year,” said senior guard Abby Harper.

Abby Harper attempts a 3-pointer against Windsor.
Abby Harper attempts a 3-pointer against Windsor.

One thing they’re doing well is balancing their attack. At least three Eagles have scored in double figures in each of the past three games. Five scored 10 or more against Hancock.

Of course, the postseason will get much tougher. The district playoffs start on Feb. 22 and BHS (13-7) will eventually have to face teams like Whitfield (19-2) and John Burroughs (12-8). Even Principia would be a handful; the Panthers are 11-12 but with better showings than Brentwood against Clayton, Windsor, McKinley and Lift for Life.

Senior center Sophia Rivera is facing the future with optimism.

“It has been a crazy season but it’s been a great one,” she said. “We’ve really come back strong and I think we’re going to have a good rest of the season.”

Sophia Rivera blocks a shot from Jill Smith of Windsor.
Sophia Rivera blocks a shot from Shaina Kmetz of Windsor. Rivera is ranked fifth in the St. Louis area in blocked shots per game and 26th in rebounds per game.

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

Marshelle Franklin starts the offense vs. Windsor.
Marshelle Franklin starts the offense vs. Windsor. She is ranked seventh in the St. Louis area in steals per game and 19th in assists per game.

Feb. 5: beat MRH 79-12
So much for the saying, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” When Brentwood took a 27-2 lead in the first quarter, it was pretty much over. Key stat: The Eagles made 31 steals. BHS leaders: Sophia Rivera, 17 points (6-12 FG), 3 blocks; Nija Price, 15 points (6-7 FG), 7 assists, 7 rebounds; Marshelle Franklin, 11 points (5-10 FG), 8 steals; Imani Gordon, 10 points (5-5 FG).

Nija Price covers Jill Smith of Windsor.
Nija Price covers Hannah Holloway of Windsor.

Feb. 3: beat Hancock 81-11
Brentwood led by 20 points in the first quarter. Key stats: The Eagles made 23 steals and had five players score in double figures. BHS leaders: Sophia Rivera, 21 points (9-20 FG), 18 rebounds, 4 blocks; Marshelle Franklin, 12 points (6-9 FG); Imani Gordon, 12 points (5-10 FG), 12 rebounds; Nija Price, 12 points (5-8 FG), 8 steals, 7 assists; Abby Harper, 10 points (4-12 FG). Hancock leader: April Turner, 5 points.

Amanda Ingersoll passes in the Windsor game.
Amanda Ingersoll passes in the Windsor game.

Brentwood’s Results — 13-7 as of Feb. 7
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.
Jan. 25: lost to Clayton 51-36 at Affton Tourn.
Jan. 26: beat Windsor 46-45 at Affton Tourn.
Jan. 29: beat Valley Park 56-20
Feb. 1: beat Kennedy 57-31
Feb. 2: beat Crossroads 61-18
Feb. 3: beat Hancock 81-11
Feb. 5: beat Maplewood-Richmond Heights 79-12
Upcoming:
Feb. 8, 6 p.m., host Bayless
Feb. 9, 5:30 p.m., at Hancock
Feb. 12, 5 p.m., at Bayless
Feb. 16, 6 p.m., host Valley Park (senior night)
Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m., at Orchard Farm
Feb. 22-26, district playoffs at John Burroughs

Megan Jones looks to pass against Windsor.
Megan Jones looks to pass against Windsor.
Logan Darrow prepares to pass in the Windsor game.
Logan Darrow prepares to pass in the Windsor game.
Imani Gordon aims a free throw during halftime of the Windsor game.
Imani Gordon aims a free throw during halftime of the Windsor game.
Gabby Gombas (right) and Sophia Rivera make it hard for Windsor's Jill Smith to shoot.
Gabby Gombas (right) and Sophia Rivera make it hard for Windsor’s Calli Robertson to shoot.
Maggie Callihan (left) and Marshelle Franklin press Windsor's Jill Smith.
Maggie Callihan (left) and Marshelle Franklin press a Windsor player.
Nija Price looks for an open teammate as Jill Smith of Windsor covers her.
Nija Price looks for an open teammate as Shaina Kmetz of Windsor covers her.
Sophia Rivera shoots over a group of Windsor players.
Sophia Rivera shoots over a group of Windsor players.
Marshelle Franklin is covered by Windsor's Jill Smith.
Marshelle Franklin is covered by Windsor’s Hannah Holloway.

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