Kickapoo got a little bit of everything from almost everyone Tuesday night.
Putting four players in double figures, the Chiefs took a one-game lead in the all-time series against Glendale with a 74-59 win at Drury University’s O’Reilly Family Event Center.
Kickapoo now leads the series 46-45 and has 17 of the last 19 meetings between the schools.
The Chiefs did it with an efficient offense that never went on a huge run, but always had an answer to any success Glendale mustered.
Kickapoo (16-5, 5-0 Ozark Conference) shot nearly 60 percent from the floor (28 for 47).
“I thought our shot selection was awful good,” Kickapoo caoch Dick Rippee said. “Chris (Ward) played well, and I thought (Ryan) Burland played well inside. And that opened stuff up for our shooters.”
Ward muscled his way through Glendale’s defense for a game-high 23 points. The 6-foot-5 senior was 9 of 11 from the floor and scored 14 points in the first half.
When Ward was out of the game it was Burland, a 6-foot-6 freshman, who did the work inside. Burland finished with 11 points on 4 of 6 shooting.
And when the duo wasn’t scoring, they were passing to cutting teammates in the lane or kicking the ball out to open shooters.
“We came out and it was working inside, so we just kept working it,” Ward said. “Then when they made some adjustments defensively we made our own adjustments and got it to our open guys.”
Guards Matt Ridder and Jack Simpson took advantage of the open space, combining for 33 points. Ridder was 5 of 8 from 3-point range for 19 points while Simpson scored nine of his 14 in the first half. Simpson was often the beneficiary of Ward’s passing skills, cutting to the basket when the big man was double-teamed.
“When we’re shooting well it’s hard to cover all our shooters and double down on the post,” Ward said.
Still, despite never leading, Glendale was game through the first 16 minutes.
The Falcons (9-12, 2-4 Ozark Conference) were within three midway through the second quarter and trailed by six at halftime before a 5-0 Kickapoo run to start the third quarter took the lead to double digits.
The Chiefs closed the third period on a 12-4 run to push the lead to 18, and led by as many as 21 late in the game.
Glendale shot 55 percent from the floor. Sophomore Nate Nagy had 14 points, but was the only Glendale player in double figures.
Five Falcons scored between five and eight points. Hassan Khan had eight, Cameron Maes had seven, Brad Dishman and Remington Barbo each had six and Chandler Collins finished with five.
“Glendale played well, and they shot the ball real well,” Rippee said. “I thought we got them playing faster than they wanted in the third quarter — we put on some pressure, and that was helpful.”
For Kickapoo, the win was another step in building momentum towards what is shaping up to be a more competitive than expected Class 5, District 11 Tournament.
“I think our team is getting better, and that’s what you want this time of year,” Rippee said. “We’re not a real flashy team that’s going to go on big runs. We have good post players, and we’re going to grind it out.”