Warrenton routs Orchard Farm, prepares to host winter shootout

By: 
Brandon Corrigan

ST. CHARLES – The Warrenton girls basketball team may have been lacking in personnel Tuesday, but definitely not determination.
Despite missing three key players from their regular rotation due to injuries, the Warriors still came through with their best defensive effort of the season, blasting host Orchard Farm 55-18 in Gateway Athletic Conference North action.
Eighteen points is the fewest Warrenton has allowed and the fewest the Eagles have scored this season. It’s also the fewest either team has scored in 18 previous matchups against each other.
Senior guard and Mineral Area Community College signee Brooke Smith was solid on both ends of the floor for Warrenton.
Smith shot an efficient 7-for-10 on the night to finish with a game-high 16 points. She also added five rebounds and came up with seven steals.
Smith wasn’t the only Warrior with a productive outing. Sophomore Garniesha Love was 2-for-3 from the 3-point line and notched a career-high 15 points to go along with five rebounds and five steals, and freshman Audrey Payne hit double-digits as well with 11 points.
Dana Pruitt had six points, Lexi Frederick five and Zoe Klaus two to round out the scoring for the visitors, who coaxed turnover and turnover and came up with 18 steals total.
Warrenton was ahead 17-6 after a quarter, 37-9 at intermission and 53-17 at the start of the fourth.
Kylie Williams led Orchard Farm with eight points. Gabi Doza scored four points and no other player had more than two.
It was the second consecutive loss for the Eagles, who droped 7-4 overall in their first conference contest of the contest.
Warrenton nabbed its second straight win to improve to 4-5 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Up next the Warriors will return to their home court for the first time since Dec. 5 as they host their annual winter shootout, which begins this week.
Warrenton is the No. 2 seed in the eight-team tournament and plays No. 7 Washington in the opening round on Monday at 4 p.m.
No. 3 Hannibal takes on No. 6 Gateway Legacy at 5:30 p.m., No. 4 Moberly battles No. 5 Francis Howell North at 7 p.m. and top-seed Liberty Wentzville takes on No. 8 O’Fallon Christian in Monday’s first round games.
The semifinals are slated for Wednesday and the championship game is set for Friday at 8:30 p.m.

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