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Jr. High Girls Place Third

The junior high girls A-Team earned third place in the Northwest Kansas League Junior High Girls Basketball Tournament held in Atwood on January 14. The girls lost to Dighton in the semi-final round of the tournament 28-36. The loss moved the Lady Indians into the 3rd place game approximately 15 minutes later. The Lady Indians defeated Rawlins County 38-30 in the 3rd place game. St. Francis did not start either game very well and fell behind by double-digit margins in both games, but the Lady Indians continued to fight hard and nearly overcame the Dighton deficit and made a strong comeback win against Rawlins County.

St. Francis did not score in the first quarter of the Dighton game and trailed 0-6 after one period of play. Dighton's lead advanced to 0-9 after a right-wing trey by Hannah Schultz in the early portion of the second period. Emma Johnson finally put St. Francis on the scoreboard with a pair of free-throws mid-way through the quarter. After Emily Wilms  added a score in the lane tor the Lady Hornets, Johnson added another free-throw. Dighton then scored back-to-back baskets on a coast-to-coast drive and shot in the lane. An exchange of free-throws made the score 5-19 at halftime.

The Lady Indians executed much better in the second half outscoring the Lady Hornets 23-17, but it was not enough to overcome the large first half deficit. Jordan Faulkender scored the opening basket of the third period from the left baseline (assist Emma Johnson). Dighton's PJ Suppes soon answered from the left-wing. Talexa Weeter's assist set up a left with trey by Johnson, but Schultz followed with a trey for the Hornets. St. Francis then earned three points on a free-throw by Weeter and a stick-back basket by McKemma Poling trimming the margin to eleven (13-24). Unfortunately, Dighton soon answered with back-to-back baskets extending the margin to 15 points. After collecting free-throws by Kattie Wurm and Amy Jenkins, the Lady Indians still trailed by fifteen (15-30) after three quarters of play.

After a Dighton basket to open the final period, the Lady Indians turned up the defensive intensity another notch, and the pressure resulted in a series of Dighton turnovers. The Lady Indians capitalized getting a couple baskets each from McKenna Poling and Jordan Faulkender and three scores from Emma Johnson to trim the deficit to 28-36. The Lady Indians had just a hole too deep early in the contest and the clock expired too soon. St. Francis lost to a good Dighton team 28-36.

Scoring for the Lady Indians were Emma Johnson 12, McKenna Poling 7, Jordan Faulkender 6, Talexa Weeter 1, Kattie Wurm 1, and Amy Jenkins 1. St. Francis made 11 of 23 foul shots.

Dighton was led by Schultz with 10 and Wilm with 9 points. Traci Cramer added 7 and McKenzie Whipple 6. The Lady Hornets made 8 of 9 from the stripe.

In the third place game against Rawlins County, St. Francis again fell behind by a double digits early, but this time the Lady Indians would complete the comeback. Emma Johnson's steal and assist lead to a lay-up by Talexa Weeter to open the contest. Rawlins County (RC) scored the next 7 points to lead by five. Johnson's driving score trimmed the deficit momentarily, but RC added three consecutive baskets to bring the first quarter score to 4-13.

The deficit increased to 4-16 after a fast-break basket by RC's Porsha Benning. Emma Johnson scored two baskets in the period (offensive rebound and coast-to-coast drive) but the Lady Indians trailed by an even greater margin at 2:58 and called time-out. Free-throws by Mia Morrow and Kettie Wurm offset the final RC basket.  The Lady Indians trailed 10-23 at the break.

St. Francis played much better in the third period. The deficit increased to 15 points after a post basket by RC's Abigail Sighateh, but the Lady Indians were poised to make a move. Emma Johnson swished a trey from the left-wing. Jordan Faulkender followed with an offensive rebound score. Johnson's coast-to-coast drive trimmed the deficit to 17-25. Emmersyn Higley added a transition basket to RC's side of the scoreboard, but Talexa Weeter consecutive free-throws answered. After a Binning free-throw, McKenna Poling's assist resulted in a right-corner trey by Johnson. The Lady Indians had pulled within six (22-28) and now had the momentum.

Talexa Weeter opened the final period with a left-corner basket and then added a stick-back hoop at 5:10. Rawlins County spent a time-out attempting to stop the momentum. At 3:51, Weeter sank another shot from the left-corner tying the contest. At 2:34, Ellee Krien scored from the right-elbow on an out-of-bounds play assist from Emma Johnson to take the lead 30-28. Johnson's next assist led to a Weeter basket near the top-of-the key. At 1:09, McKenna Poling added an offensive rebound basket giving the Lady Indians a 35-28 advantage. After a St. Francis time-out at 1:05, the Lady Indians were very deliberate offensively. Johnson added three free-throws and RC two in the final seconds to make the final tally 38-30. The Lady Indians earned third place in the NWKL Tournament with the come-from-behind victory.

Rawlins County was led in scoring by two 7th graders; Audrey Moore scored 13 points and Abigail Sighateh added 12. The Lady Buffaloes made only 6 of 16 from the line.

St. Francis received 17 points from Emma Johnson and 13 (9 in 4th qtr.) from Talexa Weeter in the contest. Other Lady Indians scoring in the game included Ellee Krien 2, McKenna Poling 2, Jordan Faulkender 2, Kattie Wurm 1 and Mia Morrow 1. The Lady Indians made 7 of 20 from the stripe.

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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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