Incarnate Word Continues Girl Hoop Dominance, Win Streak Hits 46
By Jim Wieners
In Missouri High School Girls Basketball There is Incarnate Word Academy and there is everybody else.
Incarnate Word Academy, a school that currently holds a Missouri State High School Activities Association record in State Girls Soccer Championships and who no longer holds the record for State Girls Volleyball titles (Hermann now holds that), may not have the most state titles in Girls Basketball but the way the Red Knights, defending Class Four Champions, have been playing since last season (2012-2013) the impact is just as potent.
IWA so far is 14-0 prior to the Jan. 22 (Wednesday) game at Westminster Christian Academy and has a winning streak of 46 games dated back to the end of 2011-2012 with a third-place finish in Class Five State. The Red Knights had won 33 consecutive games by 12 points or more until Dec. 17, 2013 when they won by just nine over Mary Institute-Country Day School (65-56). After dominating the Visitation Christmas Tournament IWA went to Naples, Fla., and won that shootout which includes a 53-44 win Jan. 1 over Blackman, Tenn., a team the Red Knights will play this Saturday (Jan. 25) in Louisville, Ky.
Incarnate has two wins over Metro Women’s Athletic Association rival Nerinx Hall and the Red Knights will play most of their MWAA rivals in February including a home game Feb. 21 against arch-rival St. Joseph’s Academy. IWA will also play in the Webster Groves Winter Challenge Feb. 4-8 which features Class Five State Champion Columbia-Rock Bridge.
Napheesa Collier and Nakiah Bell are the Red Knights One-Two punch. Collier averages 24 points per game, making nearly 68 percent of her shots, 68 percent from the free throw line, averages nearly nine rebounds per game has 78 steals and 36 blocked shots. Bell averages over 13 points per game and has 86 assists. Gwen Adams is the free throw leader making nearly 95 percent (53 out of 56) from the line.
NORTH TECHNICAL — The Golden Eagles may not be in the same class as IWA but the Eagle Ladies are off to an 11-1 start. The record does not include the Jan. 14 game at Miller Career Academy (results unavailable). North Tech lone loss so far was to Ritenour in the first round of the Ritenour Tournament (won by the host Huskies) and the Eagle Ladies rebounded after the loss and took that tourney’s consolation title two weeks after winning the Fort Zumwalt North Tourney.
North Tech has nine games left prior to districts including the Eldon Tournament, Jan. 30-Feb. 1. Prior to Jan. 20 Anjanee Miller averages 19 points and 11 rebounds, shooting about 69-70 percent and making over 68 percent of her free throws. Khalia Miller averages over 21 points per game hitting almost 72 percent of her free throws has 23 assists and 37 steals while Jazzy Judge has blocked 16 shots.
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