Ashleigh Allam didn’t play, sidelined by a broken nose. Chantay Caron coughed when she didn’t wince from swallowing with such a sore throat. From head-to-toe, she had that wicked-flu look. Somehow, she gutted out seven minutes.
Clearly, Free State High needed a lift from an unexpected source to score a girls basketball victory Tuesday at home against Shawnee Mission Northwest.
Enter junior reserve forward Katie Scrivo. She filled the void in a big way, contributing 10 points, eight rebounds, three blocked shots and a steal to lead the Firebirds to a 37-32 victory that pushed their record to 8-7.
Scrivo challenged every shot taken in her area, worked hard on the boards and generally played a smart game.
Young post players sometimes tend to drift from the paint and play the game where it’s less physical. Not Scrivo. She knew where she was needed, and that’s where she went to work.
“Katie was awesome for us on both ends of the floor,” Firebirds coach Bryan Duncan said. “She just was very scrappy and very consistent for us, had good composure. Scrivo knows where to be. She stayed in the low post and high post on offense, and on defense, she kept her man in front of her, and that’s what we needed her to do.”
Duncan also praised Caron, who scored the game’s first bucket, for playing despite being sapped by the flu.
“She’s about the team, and she knew tonight she had to give us whatever she could, and to start the game and end the game, she did a nice job for us,” Duncan said.
Scrivo’s classmate Wren Wiebe also came up big for the Firebirds, lending nine points and six rebounds to the winning effort. Fellow junior Ashli Hill pitched in with 10 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Hill rebounded a teammate’s missed free throw and hit a short bank to push Free State’s lead to five points with 15.8 seconds left.
The Firebirds also benefited from senior Lexi Smith’s court vision, which enabled her to advance the ball to the unguarded player against full-court pressure, and from the scrappy all-around play of guard Reilly Moore.