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Lady Hornets Defense Delivers Against St. Pius In Sectionals

The 25-1 Chillicothe Lady Hornets basketball team hosted St. Pius X on Monday night in the Class 4 Sectional 8 game between two Midland Empire Conference opponents. Chillicothe was coming off Friday’s District Championship over Lafayette, their first since 2020, and looking to advance to the State Quarterfinals for the first time since Coach Darren Smith’s first season at the helm in 2015. St. Pius defeated Excelsior Springs in their District Championship game to earn the spot opposite Chillicothe.


The Lady Warriors entered the game just 14-14 on the season, including a 26 point defeat at the hands of the Lady Hornets back in January, however St. Pius had shown significant improvement throughout the season and it was on display early. Coach Krista Daniels’ 2-3 zone defense caused problems for Chillicothe early in the game, allowing the Warriors an 8-6 advantage after one quarter.


Chillicothe locked in defensively in the 2nd quarter allowing just one point in the period, while finding enough offense to establish an 8 point halftime lead. St Pius scored on each of their first two possessions of the game, and from there on, the final 14 minutes of the first half, the Lady Hornets did not allow a single made field goal.


The 3rd quarter was very closely contested but Chillicothe’s advantage on the glass was the difference. For the game, the Lady Hornets outrebounded St. Pius 27 to 18 including 13 offensive boards which led to 13 2nd chance points. A steal by Jolie Bonderer inside the final 20 seconds in the quarter and an assist ahead to Kayanna Cranmer gave Chillicothe a 30-21 lead going into the 4th quarter.


St. Pius cut the deficit to 6 points late in the game, but the Lady Hornets exceptional free throw shooting allowed Chillicothe to prevail. The team went 20/22 for the game and 14/16 in the 4th quarter. Clinching the 48-37 victory and moving on to the State Quarterfinals.


Jolie Bonderer finished with a game high 17 points plus 6 rebounds. Fellow senior, Kayanna Cranmer added 14 points and 6 boards. Chillicothe advances to Friday night’s State Quarterfinal where they will travel to Notre Dame de Sion in Kansas City to take on the Storm. Chillicothe will be playing in their first quarterfinal game since the 2015 season, and the Lady Hornets will be looking to advance to the State Final Four for the third time in program history.


Chillicothe 6 17 30 48

St. Pius X 8 9 21 37

Individual scoring:

Chillicothe – Bonderer 17, Cranmer 14, Lyla Beetsma 9, Liz Oliver 6, Delanie Kieffer 2

St. Pius X – Caroline McCoy 12, Ava Coons 8, Hayley Tischinski 6, Kate Sell 5, Macy Wilderson 5, Maecy Hinkebein 1