HyVee Team of the Week: Staley Girls Basketball

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Basketball success isn’t always about scoring.

The girls basketball team at Staley High School is seeing one of their best seasons ever, and their commitment of doing the dirty jobs first is working.

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The Falcons (17-1) are ranked fourth in Missouri Class 6, according to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, and fourth in the Kansas City metro, according to 810 Varsity.

Defense and rebounding are high priorities for Staley. This team has flown away with a conference championship in three of their last four seasons. Staley also made the MSHSAA Class Six Final Four in 2020.

“We gotta do our jobs,” Falcons coach Mike Bennett told his team during a Wednesday afternoon practice.

Staley is is holding its 2023-24 opponents to an average of 42 points per game. This team has only two seniors leading the charge.

“(Defense) is something we strive and put a lot of effort into and a lot of detail. I think, with our group, when we have that attention to detail, our defense proves it can stop,” Bennett said.

“Our record shows how we come out with positive energy and great attitudes,” Ava Pickens, Falcons senior guard, said. “I think it shows in our games that we come ready to play.”

“I really think we can win state as long as we all push ourselves to 110 percent,” Addie Hotchkiss, another of Staley’s seniors, said. “ I just know it would be a really big deal for this school for the girls to win state.”

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The scoreboard shines in the Falcons favor, but not with huge numbers. Through Staley‘s first 17 games, eight opponents were held to 40 points or less. This school has never won a state championship, so high hopes are in the air around the Nest.

Staley travels to St. Joe Central (0-18) on Monday night. Thursday’s game at Liberty North (17-1) might host a sellout crowd.

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