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A-Team Girls Advance

B-Team Ends Season

The Northwest Kansas League Junior High Girls Basketball Tournament got underway on Thursday, January 12, in Atwood. The eight NWKL teams each sent two teams to the tournament to compete in two separate divisions--A and B. The St. Francis A-Team girls defeated Decatur Community (DC) in a very close contest, 28-24, on Thursday to advance to the final rounds to be played on Saturday, January 14, in Atwood. The B-Team lost to Wallace County 17-27 and will not play on Saturday.

Please note the times for the tournament games have been moved up one hour due to the predicted weather for Saturday. The A-Team girls will play Dighton at 10:15 a.m.

The A-Team contest was closely contested having 8 lead changes and 7 ties. The Lady Indians execution left a bit to be desired not having played since the 8th of December due to a canceled game, but the effort was excellent. The Lady Indians eventually took control in the final minutes of the contest to escape with a narrow four-point win. Kattie Wurm opened the contest with a free-throw. Moments later, Gracie Vontz sank consecutive free-throws for Decatur Community. Emma Johnson's steal-two gave the lead back to the Lady Indians and also triggered a DC time-out. The Lady Red Devils briefly took the lead on an out-of-bounds score by Lisa Ibarra, but Mia Morrow sank a trey from the top-of-the-key moving the score to 6-4. A technical foul on a substitution error gave the Lady Devils a couple free-throws that tied the contest. After a Johnson free-throw, DC's Brynna Addleman scored on a offensive rebound to give the Lady Devils a 7-8 lead after one quarter of play.

Neither team scored in the early minutes of the second period. Another free-throw by Emma Johnson tied the contest, and at 1:56, McKenna Poling gave the Lady Indians a 9-8 lead with another charity toss. On the next possession, Decatur Community regained the lead with a basket. The advantage was short-lived, as a trey by Johnson gave the Lady Indians at 12-10 lead. As had been true throughout the contest, leads were hard to maintain, and soon the Lady Devils took a 12-15 lead on three free-throws and an offensive rebound score. The Lady Indians trailed 12-15 at halftime.

Emma Johnson opened the second half scoring with a right-corner trey tying the contest once again. DC answered with a free-throw line jumper and a basket on press-offense establishing the largest lead of the contest, 15-19. Consecutive free-throws by McKenna Poling and an out-of-bounds play basket by Talexa Weeter (assist Mia Morrow) again tied the contest (19-19) at 2:45. A right-wing basket by DC's Melody Koerprich on an out-of-bounds play broke the tie until an assist by Johnson set up a left-wing score by Weeter at 1:03. After an exchange of free-throws, McKenna Poling's out-of-bounds play basket from the free-throw area gave St. Francis a 24-22 lead in the closing moments of the third period.

St. Francis would not relinquish the lead again. Mireya Palisio-Rocha opened the final period with a free-throw for the Lady Indians. Vontz answered with a right-wing score for the Lady Devils. With 1:56 left in the game, Ellee Krien sank one-of-two giving the Lady Indians a narrow two-point lead (26-24). After a St. Francis time-out at 1:16, Emma Johnson and Mia Morrow each sank free-throws to increase the lead to four points. The Lady Indians did a good job of protecting the ball in the final minutes to seal the win. St. Francis defeated Decatur Community 28-24.

Brynna Addleman led the Lady Red Devils in scoring with 7 points. Gracie Vontz chipped in 6. The Lady Devils were sharp at the free-throw line connecting on 8 of 11 tries.

Emma Johnson led the Lady Indians in scoring with 11 points. Others adding to the Lady Indian point total were:  Mia Morrow 5, McKenna Poling 5, Talexa Weeter 4, Ellee Krien 1, and Kattie Wurm 1. The Lady Indians made 11 of 26 from the stripe.

The B-Team girls game was loaded with lots of action as both teams hustled up and down the court. Both St. Francis and Wallace County (WC) had difficulty finding the basket at times, but effort was not an issue. Hope Perry scored the first basket of the contest for Wallace County on a break. Miah Hackney's assist to Hadleigh Hilt soon answered. After two Perry free-throws and free-throw area jumper by Keeli Knobbe, the Lady Wildcats took a  2-6 lead. Lyden Lampe scored on a coast-to-coast drive narrowing the margin momentarily, but WC's Jess Benisch nailed a shot from the left wing increasing the lead back to four. Amanda Neitzel's offensive rebound basket closed the quarter with the Lady Indians trailing 6-8. 

Wallace County opened the second period with three quick buckets extending the deficit to 6-14. Miah Hackney added an offensive rebound basket near the two minute mark, and Lyden Lampe added another coast-to-coast basket just before the buzzer. St. Francis trailed 10-14 at halftime.

Lyden Lampe's free-throw was the only point scored in the first three minutes of the third period, but action picked up a bit in the final minutes. Both Knobbe and Perry added scores for the Lady Wildcats, and St. Francis earned baskets by Dani Broughman (left-wing) and Miah Hackney (offensive rebound). The Lady Indians still trailed 15-18 after three quarters.

In the early portion of the final period, WC's Hope Perry scored consecutive baskets to place the Lady Indians at a larger deficit. A left-corner shot by Benisch increased the margin to 15-24 and triggered a St. Francis time-out at 3:35. The Lady Indians would get another basket by Lyden Lampe, but could not keep pace with the Lady Cats. St. Francis lost the B-Team contest 17-27. 

Scoring for the Lady Indians in the B-Team game were:  Lyden Lampe 7, Miah Hackney 4, Hadleigh Hilt 2, Amanda Neitzel 2, and Dani Broughman 2. Wallace County was led by Perry with 14 and Benisch with 6.

The loss ended the season for the B-Team girls. The B-Team earned a 6-6 record for the season.

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St. Francis 100 College Street St. Francis, KS  67756

Superintendent's Office: 785-332-8182 High School Office: 785-332-8153 Elementary Office: 785-332-8143

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