CHETOPA — Two worlds collided on Monday night. The Parsons Vikings, a 4A school still searching for its first win of the season, traveled south to face the Chetopa Green Hornets, a 1A program riding a seven-game winning streak.
It was the Green Hornets that pushed the needle in their favor as they beat the Vikings 53-52.
“It says a lot about us,” Chetopa head coach Jaunc Bradshaw said. “There a 4A school. Even if they’re down, they’ve still got a lot more to pick from with a lot more kids. We just have what we have. At first, our girls were nervous because Parsons is 4A. But I told them it was just another game and they just needed to go out and play.”
Chetopa raced out ahead of the Vikings early, taking a 19-7 lead through one quarter and a 31-17 advantage into halftime.
But Parsons came out of the break with a reinvigorated tenacity on defense, forcing turnovers and tying the game at 38-38 with one period left.
“We were standing around too much on defense in the first half,” Parsons head coach Pat Schibi said. “We picked it up in the second half and that created offense. But we’ve got to play four quarters with intensity. The effort was there late, but it’s got to be there at the start.”
Brali Conard was the star of the night for Chetopa, pouring in 20 points including 11 points in fourth quarter after Parsons switched out of a zone into a man-to-man set.
“She can play inside and out,” Bradshaw said. “When she understands that she can get to the basket and put her mind to it, she’ll get there. She had good moves late in the game and took it to them when they switched back to man.”
Samantha Blundell had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Green Hornets, while Torrie Albertson added 12 points and six assists.
Alix Webb led Parsons in scoring with 20 points.
“She really picked it up defensively,” Schibi said. “She put the team on her back in the third quarter and really fought hard. We all have to do that from the tip.”
Bradshaw credited his team’s mettle and experience for surviving the Vikings’ comeback. — Chetopa never trailed in the game.
“These kids have matured over the years,” Bradshaw said. “They’ve been in the big moments of having to calm down without giving up. This year, we’ve thrived. We’ll get a timely made shot or steal to stop those runs.”
Parsons, now 0-10 on the season, travels west to Cherryvale on Thursday — the Vikings’ girls are not in a midseason tournament this year.
“We need to push the ball a little more,” Schibi said. “That’s what we’re preaching. We need to speed it up. Cherryvale will be scrappy, so we’ll have to be strong with the ball and make good passes.”
As for Chetopa, it heads to the NEO Tournament in Miami, Oklahoma on Thursday riding an eight-game win streak.
“We’ve got to keep it moving,” Bradshaw said. “Turnovers are a big thing. We’ve got to make smarter choices when we have a lead. So that’s what we’ll work on.”
Chetopa 53, Parsons 52
Parsons: 7 10 21 14 — 52
Chetopa: 19 12 7 15 — 53
Parsons: Briona Patterson 4, Alix Webb 20, Sanya Anderson 6, Jadyn Heck 6, Nakia Dodd 16
Chetopa: Molly Arnold 2, Amber Ross 8, Torrie Albertson 12, Samantha Blundell 11, Brali Conard 20