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Witherspoon, Turner help John Burroughs roll past Lutheran South

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LADUE — John Burroughs junior Monet Witherspoon remembers being impressed by current teammate Allie Turner when the two faced off against each other in fifth grade.

"I didn't know her, but I could see she was real good competitor," Witherspoon said.

Ditto for Turner.

"It was always fun to play against her," Turner said.

Those battles on the club and elementary school levels became a thing of the past when the two joined forces in the seventh grade at John Burroughs.

The powerful pair has been virtually stoppable in two-plus seasons in high school.

Witherspoon scored 12 points and Turner added 10 on Friday to lead the Bombers to a 43-28 win over Lutheran South in a Metro League girls basketball showdown.

Burroughs (17-2 overall, 2-0 Metro League), the defending Class 4 state champion, won for the 12th time in the last 13 games. The lone loss was to Incarnate Word Academy, which has won 82 successive games.

Lutheran South (12-3, 1-1) had an 11-game winning streak snapped. It was the Lancers' longest run since a 12-game blitz from Dec. 2, 2006-Jan. 19, 2007.

The rivals could meet again in the postseason. They are both in the Class 5 District 2 Tournament at Webster Groves in March.

Turner, a 5-foot-8 junior all-state performer, and Witherspoon, 5-8, were in perfect sync Friday. Twice, Turner set up Witherspoon with highlight-reel passes that led to baskets.

"It's chemistry," Turner said.

Added Witherspoon, "Just comes from playing together for a while."

The Bombers used a strong defensive effort to hold the Lancers to a season-low 28 points, 30 below their average. It was South's lowest output since a 43-27 loss to St. Joseph's Benton on Dec. 20, 2021 — span of 36 games.

"We have to go back to the drawing board offensively," South coach Ben Ealick said. "We have to finish some of those gimmes that we missed."

Burroughs bolted out to a 14-2 lead and never looked back.

Five different players scored for the Bombers over the first seven minutes.

Breaunna Ward got the ball rolling with a short jumper just 73 seconds into the contest. Moriyah Douglass, a 6-4 freshman, added a basket from close range before Sydney Starks closed out the blitz with a 5-footer.

South chopped a 14-point deficit to 24-16 early in the third quarter and had two chances to climb to within two possessions.

The Bombers then went on a 15-4 run to put the game away. Turner and Witherspoon did most of the damage with back-to-back 3-pointers in a span of 1:19. 

"For us, the big picture is just to get better every time out," Burroughs coach Jacob Yorg said. "We always want to be the best at everything we do, not just basketball."

Junior Celia Thayer hit a 3-pointer in each half for the Bombers, who are 40-6 since the beginning of last season.

"A good team win," Turner said. "Our switching on defense was really good in the second half."

Juniors Ellie Buscher and Savannah Butterfield had 11 points each for South, which held Burroughs scoreless for a stretch of 6:28 in the second half.

"Our defensive effort was good," Ealick said. "It's funny, earlier in the year we were better offensively. I was happy holding them to (43) points. This will help us put together a game plan for districts."

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