RIVERSIDE, Mo. — Park Hill South finally enjoyed a much-needed easy victory.
Having started the season without projected starter Raquel Reid, the Panthers have struggled to score during an up-and-down start under first-year coach Josh Dorr. They took control from the outset in a nonconference game against Fort Osage on Monday, Dec. 19 at Park Hill South High School, bludgeoning the Indians in a 49-12 victory.
The defense set the tone, forcing a slew of turnovers from overmatched Fort Osage.
“I think the big thing was we were able to get some baskets out of our defense in the first half,” Dorr said. “That really ignited them from there, and they did a good job of covering everybody.”
Fort Osage managed just four points in the first quarter and went on a 10-minute drought.
At halftime, Park Hill South led 31-4 with Dymeria Guillory (13 points) and De’Jaria Guillory (12 points) combining for 20 points in the first half. The Panthers were able to push the lead over 30 in the second half to start a running clock to finish off the quick victory.
The Guillory sisters and Emily Dinovo (five points) have emerged as the go-to players with Dorr reporting standout sophomore center Alecia Westbrook remains out with an injury.
Against Fort Osage, Grace Cunningham stepped up with eight points, while Kate Eischens matched Dinovo’s five.
However, Park Hill South received only five points from its bench.
“I would have to say our team working together and talking on defense and flashing through the middle,” De’Jaria Guillory said of the key to the fast start.
Park Hill South improved to 3-5 overall entering a Wednesday, Dec. 21 matchup with rival Park Hill. The two teams were scheduled to tip at 5:30 p.m. at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.
Staley 53, Park Hill South 42
The Panthers fell behind early and didn’t recover despite 13 points from Dinovo on Friday, Dec. 16 in Kansas City, Mo.
Staley took a 17-6 lead after the first quarter and held on from there. Dinovo hit two of Park Hill South’s four 3-pointers, while Dymeria Guillory (12 points) and De’Jaria Guillory (11 points) also scored in double figures.
Overall, Staley shot 17 of 26 on free throws while Park Hill South had just eight attempts at the line.
Lee’s Summit West 47, Park Hill 45
The Trojans have now lost three times this season — two in overtime and one by two points.
This time, Park Hill (4-3) let a double-digit lead slip away Thursday, Dec. 15 at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Mo. The Trojans were up 29-19 at halftime, and a three-point play from Alex Berger increased the advantage to 32-19.
Lee’s Summit West closed to within four with 1:30 to go and then went on a 6-0 run to take a 45-43 lead. Park Hill’s Tiayia Bryant tied the score with a basket but the Titans converted the winning basket late.
Bryant had 12 and Berger 11 to lead the scoring for Park Hill.