Unity pulls away in second half of Shootout victory behind senior guard’s Barry good performance
QUINCY — Unity girls basketball coach Brad Begeman was paying senior Kylee Barry a compliment.
Honest, he was.
“I like to call her our Rodman, after Dennis Rodman,” Begeman said.
Rodman was the controversial, but oh-so-effective part of three NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. Barry is hardly a controversial figure at Unity, but Begeman’s point is well-taken.
“Kylee does all the things Rodman used to — she’s a great defensive player and does all of the dirty jobs to help us win,” Begeman said. “She always guards the other team’s best player, and doesn’t usually get a lot of attention.”
That all changed Saturday when Barry not only did her due diligence on defense, but also contributed game highs of 18 points and 12 rebounds to help Unity crush Cairo (Mo.) Northeast 68-41 in the KHQA-American Family Insurance Superfan Shootout at Quincy Notre Dame’s The Pit.
Unity’s victory was its seventh in a row.
Barry was named player of the game by the Shootout committee, an announcement that was greeted with a loud cheer from her teammates and Unity fans in attendance.
“Kylee is used to seeing the other girls win awards,” said Begeman, his team now 28-3 and ranked fifth in the Class 1A state poll. “Everyone was really happy for her.”
Barry’s 10 first-half points helped Unity recover from a slow start and eventually take a 31-20 halftime edge. Cairo (19-3) scored the first six points of the game, but little went right for the Bearcats after that, thanks in large part to Barry.
“I just decided to go out there and go for it,” she said. “I was just going with the flow.”
Barry’s points and rebounds were both season highs.
“My strength is probably around the basket and attacking the basket,” she said. “I worked a lot on confidence after last season. In the past, I always had the tendency to get down on myself.”
Ashlynn Arnsman (16), Sophia Shaffer (12), Kyra Carothers (9) and Caroline Knox (9) also enjoyed offensive success for Unity, which outscored Cairo 37-21 in the second half.
Barry’s 12 rebounds helped Unity control the boards 34-19. Arnsman and Carothers each snatched five.
Cairo, which has just one senior on its roster, saw Avery Martin score 12 and 6-foot-2 sophomore center Macie Harman get 10. Martin and Harman each added five rebounds.
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