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URBANA — The state’s No.1 ranked team in Missouri Class 2 is coming off a Class 2 state championship last season and have shown no signs of slowing down in 2017-18 as the Skyline Lady Tigers improved to 7-0 on Thursday with a runaway 56-21 win over a good Webb City team in Urbana.
Skyline got a game-high 17 points from senior Kaylee DaMitz and 16 more from Autumn Garrett, building a 17-2 lead early in the second quarter and went to the half leading 32-7 before cruising to the win in the second half.
Even without Savannah Owens, a 5’10 interior player, who broke her foot this week, the Lady Tigers continued to roll on Thursday, running away from a Webb City team that entered the game 6-2 with a 56-21 win.
The Lady Tigers run seven or eight deep and play a box press or run-and-trap and make life difficult for opponents.
At the offensive end, Skyline mixes the ability to attack the basket off the bounce with the ability to shoot from the outside and focus on sharing the ball.
Cheek has coached the group since seventh-grade as he also coaches at the junior high level and said developing chemistry and an understanding of the schemes at Skyline has been a big factor in the program’s success.
The team is led by 5’6 2018 point guard Kaylee DaMitz who has signed to play at Pittsburg State and was the Missouri Class 2 Player of the Year.
A four-year starter, DaMitz averages 13 points, five rebounds, seven assists and seven steals per game and sets the tone for the Lady Tiger team.
When healthy, Cheek said Owens is a player who can score with her back to the basket and gives the team a key interior presence.
“We don’t have that kid right now (with Owens out of the line-up),” Cheek said. “She is high energy, gets off the ground quickly and affects a lot of shots around the rim.”
Kristen Miller and Chloe Cole are also key returning players for cheek. Miller is a 5’3 guard who is good at attacking the basket, while Cole is a 5’6 guard who also rebounds well for her size.
“Miller is gritty and guards the other team’s best player and that kid is going to get tired of it before the night is over and hits the open 3-pointer,” Cheek said. “Cole is a kid that if she can see the basket we let her shoot it … she might miss a few in a row, then make five. …”
Cheek said Cole entered Thursday’s game 26 for 44 from 3-point range through the first six games of the season.
Also in the mix is xx and senior Sarah Cunningham. xx gives the Lady Tigers some much needed size in the middle, while Cunningham is second on the team in assists.
“We really like it when people play a zone and we can get Sarah in the short corner because a lot of time we are going to score off the next pass,” Cheek said. “She is really smart and sees the floor well.”
The team’s lone junior is Autumn Garrett, who at 5’5 is a terrific athlete and is the team’s leading scorer through the early stages of the season. Cheek said Garrett is one of several Skyline players he feels could average 20-25 points per game for other programs, but has sacrificed some of her production while playing alongside other talented players.
The team has a game upcoming agains Adrian on Dec. 16, then will open play at the annual Pink and White Tournament on Dec. 26 in Springfield. Skyline was awarded a No. 2 seed and play unseeded Lebanon, a team that defeated the Lady Tigers (59-53) in the tournament last season.