AFFTON • The Lutheran South junior trio of guards Chloe Akerson and Emma Heskett and forward Savannah Schmidt all have serious postseason experience.
The three played in a state quarterfinal game as freshmen – which the Lancers dropped to Dexter.
The trio used that experience to help the Lancers roll to a 77-26 win over Crossroads on Wednesday in the first round of the Lutheran South Tournament.
“It was really cool to go through that and see what all the older people did and where we could be,” Schmidt said. “We're still so young and we have that (potential). We still have that chance to be able to grow and do good things two years in a row.”
South (7-2) scored the first 20 points and led by 39 at halftime on Wednesday.
The Lancers will play either Festus or Metro in a semifinal game at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Lancers coach Ben Ealick said that the program has moved forward the last two seasons thanks, in large part, to the trio.
“They were role players and they've all grown up together on varsity,” Ealick said. “Savannah gives us that presence inside. Chloe is that calming factor – she can play point or play off the ball. Emma creates match-up problems, being 5-foot-11 and being able to slash or spot up and shoot. All of them have really grown into their roles.”
Akerson (13.3 points per game) has done a strong job to lead the trio while Heskett (12.3) and Schmidt (6.6) have also put up good numbers.
The three account for 32 of the Lancers' 60 points per game this season. Sophomore Emma Pawlitz's 16.8 points per game lead the team, but the numbers put up by the trio have balanced out the attack.
“This is really cool for us because not a lot of people get to take on that leadership role as a junior,” Heskett said. “I think a lot of people thought our team wasn't going to be good because we lost so many seniors. We have something to prove to them.”
The trio proved plenty Wednesday as it combined for 34 points with Heskett scoring 15, Akerson 10 and Schmidt nine to back up the team-high 23 points from Pawlitz.
Crossroads (1-3) was led by eight points apiece from freshman guard Makyla Spann and senior forward Faith Webster.
Current coach Mike Pomatto saw some good things in defeat.
“We were just out-manned a lot,” Pomatto said. “I like to think that we kept fighting and tried to do the things we wanted to do.