Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Miller, Wallace Help Kirkwood Survive Rival Webster Groves; GIRLS BASKETBALL

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Miller, Wallace Help Kirkwood Survive Rival Webster Groves; GIRLS BASKETBALL

Article excerpt

KIRKWOOD * Makayla Wallace's ears worked just fine. Yet she still couldn't hear anything.

The freshman guard for the Kirkwood girls basketball team got her first taste of the rivalry with Webster Groves and it lived up to the hype.

"I was nervous more than anything," Wallace said. "It was loud, obnoxious. All you hear is fans everywhere."

The decibel level exploded when Wallace converted a tough layup, drew a foul and knocked down the free throw to put Kirkwood in the lead for good as the Pioneers survived with a 52-42 Suburban XII South win Friday at Kirkwood.

The No. 2 large school in the STLhighschoolsports.com rankings, Kirkwood (18-4 overall, 4-0 league) has won four games in a row and 12 of its last 13. The Pioneers beat the Statesmen for the first time since 2012. Which was news to first-year Kirkwood coach Monica Tritz.

"You know this whole Webster-Kirkwood thing is new to me," Tritz said. "I learn every day. I didn't think it was that big of a deal the first day I wore orange here."

Tritz lost the orange wardrobe and her indoctrination is nearly complete.

The Pioneers managed to find their stride near the end of the fourth quarter to give them some room in what was a nip-and-tuck game nearly the entire second half.

Webster Groves (16-8, 3-2) went into the contest without starting senior post Mal Moran, who is out with a shoulder injury. Being undermanned in the paint can be devastating against Kirkwood and talented sophomore post Lauryn Miller. She ate the Statesmen up early in the game as the Pioneers pushed out to a 13-5 first- quarter lead. She was the one who delivered Kirkwood to the win down the stretch. Miller finished with a team-high 11 points, but had to sit much of the third and part of the fourth quarter with three fouls and an apparent ankle injury.

While she was out, Webster turned a 27-20 halftime deficit into 38-35 lead three minutes into the fourth quarter. …

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