When the Smithville girls basketball offense is running smoothly, it usually looks pretty simple. Junior forward Christina Walsh gets in position on the left block with her hand in the air calling for the ball. Then junior point guard Mckenzie Robinson finds the angle to get her the ball.
Walsh turns, shoots and scores. Rinse. Repeat.
But Robinson, who also was a Missouri Class 3 All-State soccer honorable mention as a sophomore, has missed multiple games this year due to conflicting dates with her club soccer schedule.
Yet Robinson’s absence against Raytown South on Thursday, Feb. 13, didn’t slow Walsh down one bit as she scored 22 points, all in the first half, as Smithville won 56-29 at home.
“I was actually surprised when I looked up at the score … and saw she had 20,” Smithville head coach Trevor Mosby said. “I thought she maybe had 12, but then thinking back, I can only remember one shot that she missed.”
Without Robinson available, junior Allie Andrews and freshman Lily Wornson stepped up at the point guard position to help Smithville find their dominant teammate, who entered the contest averaging 13.6 points per game on 47% from the field.
“I thought I did pretty well," Walsh said. "I’ve been working hard in practice at posting up, sealing hard and getting the pass. ... (My teammates) passed to the hand that I had out and they just got in the right angle to get me the ball.”
The Warriors defense was just as impressive as the offense. As Walsh scored 10 of the team’s first 12 points, Raytown South was unable to score a single basket in the first seven minutes of the game. Smithville led 20-2 at the end of the first quarter even with Walsh getting a breather after scoring one more basket.
“Part of that was we were denying one pass away,” Mosby said. “So when they couldn’t drive and they couldn’t throw one pass away, you look to the skip pass next. I thought our girls did a good job of anticipating and closing out on the skip pass.”
The final score may be a little misleading in favor of the home team. Walsh did all of her damage in the first two quarters as she played sparingly in the second half.
Maybe her extra rest on the bench and a key teammate out of the lineup is why Walsh thinks she and her team still have a lot of room to improve despite their impressive performance.
“I’m not satisfied,” Walsh said. “I want to get better every game and keep working. Our point guard hasn’t been available lately, so (when she returns) we’ll need to get in the flow again, get our rhythm (back).”
The Warriors won their last seven games by an average of 13 points per game. In that time, Smithville has shot 38% from the field, including 41% from 3.