Deegan, Hernandez each contribute 18 in Braves win
As Yessenia Hernandez and Anna Deegan walked off the court following Bonner Springs’ 61-41 victory against Bishop Ward, Hernandez let out a scream audible over any commotion.
It may have been because of the thought of senior night, it may have been a sigh of exhaustion or it might have been pure elation.
But it was that type of passion that led the Braves (18-1) in a game closer than it appeared on the score sheet.
“When she decides to take over a game, it’s hard to stop her,” coach Clay Oakes said.
It looked like a potential blowout at first. The Braves got up 25-11 on the Cyclones before they rolled off a 15-2 run and shook the Braves’ confidence.
Deegan was having a dominant performance, but she was forced to sit for a large portion of the second half with foul trouble.
With the game tied 36-36 late in the third quarter, Hernandez noticed that her team was not its usual self.
“We weren’t being as aggressive in the second quarter,” Hernandez said, “but I told them we needed to pick it up if we wanted to win this game.”
Hernandez picked up her game as well, scoring 16 of her 18 points in the second half, mostly by attacking and getting to the foul line. Deegan came back late in the fourth quarter well-rested and joined Hernandez’s outburst. Deegan also finished with 18 points and Erica Wilson added nine for the Braves.
The offense in the fourth quarter led to an inspired defensive effort as the Braves allowed only five points in the decisive period.
The Braves now have a chance to win the league, but need to win their last game for that to happen. Since the perfect season has come to an end, playing has been somewhat easier for them.
“When we lost the, whole pressure relieved itself,” she said. “Then we came back up and played great.”
But the one loss on the season has Bonner Springs tied with Mill Valley at the top of the Kaw Valley standings, so there is plenty of pressure to win this Friday at Basehor-Linwood.
“It’s never easy right now,” Oakes said. “We’re still in position for being co-champs in our league. We’re down to one game for that to happen.”