EXCELSIOR SPRINGS – Before Richmond’s Nov. 25 season opener with Excelsior Springs, varsity girls basketball coach Chad Snyder would not have said the Tigers would outhustle his Spartans.
But after Richmond’s 50-39 Missouri River Valley Conference interdivisional road loss, that is what Snyder said.
“I think they outhustled us down the court,” he said. “I think they outhustled us on the boards.”
Richmond starting forward Skylar Quick did not expect hustle to be a trouble spot for the Spartans either.
“This means we (have) got to work harder on that in practice,” Quick said.
The Tigers used their hustle to open with a 10-2 run. Senior Morgan Schindler, who paced Excelsior Springs with 20 total points, scored the first four points to spark the run.
“I think we just came out with a lot of energy, and both our defense and our offense were working really well,” Schindler said. “And we were just playing loose, instead of being tight.”
The relaxed Tigers went on to lead 12-6 after one quarter.
“First-game jitters are obviously going to be a thing,” Excelsior Springs coach J.D. Biermann said. “But our defense kept us out of that funk to begin the game, so we could settle down and start making shots.”
Excelsior Springs outscored Richmond 16-10 the second quarter to lead 28-16 at halftime. The Tigers then outscored the Spartans 13-8 the third quarter.
Schindler and sophomore Lillian Mawby combined for nine of Excelsior Springs’ third-quarter points. Mawby scored five of her 10 total points during the quarter. Schindler dropped in a pair of two-point baskets.
Sparked by sophomore forward Emmalea Kilpatrick and junior guard Ava Murphy, the Spartans took the final quarter 15-9. Kilpatrick scored six of her team-leading 13 points during the quarter. Murphy, who also finished in double figures with 10 points, scored four fourth-quarter points.
“I think it just kind of took us a little while to get going. … Pretty much, for three quarters, we played nothing like we (had) practiced for three weeks and nothing like we did (in the jamboree) against Lawson. … That game pretty much went how we’d discussed it, how we’d talked, and we just didn’t execute very well what … we’d practiced,” Snyder said.
Richmond also dropped the junior varsity game 36-28. Alexis Bokarae led the Spartans with eight points, followed by Haylee Weber with seven. Excelsior Springs sophomore Lashelle Whitney led all j.v. scorers with 16 points and was the only Tiger in double figures.
The Spartans look to rebound from their season-opening loss Monday, when they travel to Lawson to face the Cardinals in non-conference play – less than two weeks after facing each other at Lawson in jamboree scrimmaging. The Spartans outscored the Cardinals 30-11 in two quarters of varsity play, with Lawson taking the quarter of j.v. scrimmaging 16-2.