COFFEYVILLE – Chanute’s Lady Blue Comets continued their winning ways in the new year with a 63-50 win over Field Kindley on Tuesday night in Coffeyville.
Kori Babcock recorded a career-high 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals – the junior point guard’s second double-double of the year – while Makayla Schoenhofer produced 15 points and five rebounds. Jacey Lewis chipped in with 11 points (three 3s) and five boards.
Babcock is now averaging 19.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals on the year.
These players took the bull by its horns, ending the first half with a score of 35-15. And as a score opens up in favor of a particular team, nine times out of 10 it has to do with defense.
Still, the hour-long trip may have impacted CHS in getting off to a slow start – the end of the first quarter Chanute was up 12-9 – but the defense ramped up in the second quarter, as the Lady Blue Comets outscored Coffeyville 23-6.
Babcock’s potent scoring and the defense had a lot to do with that.
“I think just the defensive effort is the key for us in almost every game, and the same thing happened tonight,” ninth-year head coach Dustin Fox said. “When we play with energy and effort on the defensive end, it usually results in opportunities on the offensive end. And so we were able to get some touches and get some steals, get some easy buckets, get out in transition, and really fluster them in what they were trying to do on offense.”
One player who continues to help Chanute is Brianna Waggoner, who had two steals and two rebounds in the game. Despite Waggoner at 5’1” usually being one of the smaller players on the court, the junior guard has grit and a feistiness that doesn’t allow any kind of backing down from a challenge. If an offensive player pushes her to establish position, Waggoner will hold her ground and push right back, but not overly aggressively.
Waggoner said the team’s communication puts her in position to make plays.
“I feel like what really helps us on the defense is how well we talk with each other, and how we started from freshmen ball to JV, and now we are on varsity all together, just growing up and talking,” she said. “And then knowing in practice that we are going to play against Coffeyville, so watching film and knowing what we are going to play.”
Even players who haven’t been playing or haven’t gotten as many minutes recently because of some nagging injuries were all in on the game plan. Mattilyn Cranor, for example, missed the Labette County and the Pitt games just before break due to a sprained ankle, but she was able to check in off the bench versus Coffeyville, providing five rebounds and two steals – necessary spirited, energy plays.
Schoenhofer, who hyperextended her left arm in the Labette County game, was able to rest over the break, and performed at close to a 100 percent on Tuesday.
With this collective effort, Chanute won its 12th-straight time over Coffeyville dating back to the 2014-15 season.
The Lady Comets (5-1, 2-0) will play Friday, 6 pm versus Independence at home.