Bishop LeBlond gave Chillicothe everything it had through four quarters on Friday at Grace Gymnasium, but late-game shooting proved too much for the Golden Eagles as they fell 43-34.
After winning its last two games by less than five, Chillicothe (9-2) earned another hard-fought win on the road in both team’s MEC opener.
“We’re getting the wins, but holy cow we’re not playing the way we need to be,” coach Terry McKiddy said. “I think our record is better than how we’ve played,”
After rushing out to a 14-3 lead in the second, efficient free-throw shooting from the Golden Eagles allowed them to battle their way to back and tie it up at 17 going into halftime.
The Eagles (2-11) were able to hold two of Chillicothe’s big three, Jordan Hibner and Hunter Keithley, below their season averages thanks to strong perimeter defense.
“We need them. They were playing a 2-3 zone and you need to be able to shoot the ball well and get them out of that zone,” McKiddy said.
Despite a relatively cold night shooting, it was Hibner and Keithley who make clutch shots late when LeBlond within one possession.
“Jordan hit a couple of nice three’s that really helped us extend that lead,” McKiddy said.
Senior Kennedie Kieffer, who had her fifth-straight game with double figures, led the team with 12 and was 8-for-8 from the foul line.
“I think when we put together four quarters of good basketball we can be a really good ball club,” McKiddy said. “
LeBlond came in with a solid game plan, using screens in the paint to create open lanes for Olivia Yarnell and Juliann Smith, who led the Golden Eagles with 13.
“I think Jackie is a tremendous coach, knows the game,” McKiddy said. “They put quiet a scare in us so we’re gonna walk out of here lucky