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Lady Indians Defeat Weskan In Opening Round

The Lady Indians defeated the Weskan Lady Coyotes 58-44 in the opening round of the Sagebrush Shootout Basketball Tournament on Monday, December 9 in Brewster. The Lady Indians jumped out to 22-point lead in the first half of the contest and were in control throughout. Though Weskan made a nice run in quarter three, the Lady Indians advanced to the championship semi-finals to be held on Friday evening, December 13. St. Francis will play Wallace County at 6:00 p.m. in the North Gym at Brewster High School on Friday.

St. Francis jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead in the contest. Alondra Gomez scored on an assist from Emma Johnson to open the Lady Indians' scoring. Jordan Faulkender followed with a basket in the paint and Karly Bandel added a steal-two. The action caused a Weskan time-out at 5:51. An assist from Johnson set up a fast-break basket by Hanna Zimbal moving the advantage to 8-0 in favor of the St. Francis. The Lady Coyotes got on the scoreboard at the 4:57 mark of the first period when Ariana Okeson (5' 9' So.) sank one-of-two from the free-throw line. Gomez drained a trey on an assist from Rian Zimbal moving the margin to double digits (11-1). Desirae McQuillan (5' 7" So.) answered with a right-wing trey for Weskan. Rian Zimbal added a post basket on an assist from Ellee Krien, but Sophie Haas (5' 11" Sr.) soon answered with a press-offense basket. At 2:17, the Lady Indians used their first time-out to discuss assignments. Emma Johnson then added a top-of-the-key trey. The final score of the first period came on a free-throw by Weskan's Haas. St. Francis led 16-7 at the first quarter break.

Alondra Gomez drained another trey to open the second period scoring (assist Emma Johnson). Hannan Zimbal followed with consecutive free-throws moving the score to 21-7 at the 5:24 mark. After a free-throw by Blakely Aldridge (5' 8" Jr.), Ellee Krien found Rian Zimbal open at the high-post for a nice jumper. Jordan Faulkender's stick-back basket moved the advantage to 25-8. Weskan's Brielle Allen (5' 3" So.) earned a deuce following a turnover by the Lady Indians, but the score was quickly answered by right-corner trey by Emma Johnson (assist Faulkender). With 3:19 remaining in the second period, Weskan used their second time-out to regroup. After returning to action, Faulkender added two free-throws, and a Johnson-to-Karly Bandel break added two more. The margin was now the largest of the contest; 22 points (32-10) with 1:58 remaining in the first half. Four more free-throws would be added; two by each team.  Aldridge's two free-throws were followed by two from Mia Morrow for the Lady Indians. St. Francis led 34-12 at halftime.

The Lady Coyotes played well in the third period and coupled with some accurate long-range shooting reduced the deficit by outscoring the Lady Indians 14-22 in the period. Blakley Aldridge opened the second half with a right-wing trey. J.C. Allen (5' 6" Jr.) soon added a driving basket. After a free-throw by Alondra Gomez, Allen swished a top-of-the-key trey. The Lady Indian advantage had quickly reduced to 15 points (35-20). Hannah Zimbal then added a post basket on an assist by Gomez. Allen followed with another trey; this one from the left-corner on an out-of-bounds play. With 4:58 left in the third period. St. Francis used a time-out hoping to slow the Lady Coyotes momentum. After returning to the floor, Gomez earned a steal-two and Rian Zimbal added a post-basket (assist Emma Johnson). Sophie Haas then banked in a trey from the top-of-the-key on a fast-break. Rian Zimbal's free-throw preceded her post score (assist Gomez) making the score 44-26. Brielle Allen then added two free-throws to the Lady Coyotes' total. An out-of-bounds play basket by Jordan Faulkender (assist Karly Bandel) preceded another trey by J. C. Allen (her third trey of the period). Faulkender then added a basket from the right-side short corner. Ariana Okeson scored the final points of the period; a trey from the right corner. It was the 6th trey of the period for the Lady Coyotes! St. Francis led 48-34 after three quarters of action.

The Lady Coyotes opened the final stanza continuing to trim the margin. After two free-throws by Jordan Faulkender, Ariana Okeson scored in the paint. St. Francis used their 3rd time-out at 5:54. J.C. Allen drained her fourth trey of the half from the top-of-the-key trimming the margin to eleven, and the Lady Coyotes called time-out. After returning to the floor, Stephany Rother (5' 9" Jr.) added a free-throw reducing the SF lead to ten (50-40). It was time for the Lady Indians to make a few plays; and they did. Karly Bandel found Rian Zimbal in the post for a bucket, but Blakley Adridge answered at the opposite goal. Emma Johnson's assist led to a right elbow jumper by Faulkender. Weskan called time-out with 2:05 remaining, desperately needing some quick baskets. Desirae McQuillan added two free-throws in the next minute-plus, and St. Francis took another time-out at 50.1 seconds to discuss strategy. The Lady Indians used delay tactics to expire the final few minutes of the contest. Rian Zimbal added one more free-throw before the game ended. St. Francis defeated Weskan 58-44.

J.C. Allen led all scorers with 16 points (14 in the second half). Blakely Aldridge added 9 to the Weskan total. Ariana Okeson chipped in 6 and Desirae McQuillan and Sophie Haas each scored 5 points. The Lady Coyotes made 10 of 15 from the line, had 18 turnovers, and were whistled for 17 fouls.

St. Francis was led in scoring by Jordan Faulkender with 14 points. Rian Zimbal chipped in 12 points and Alondra Gomez added 11. Others scoring for St. Francis included Karly Bandel (7), Hannah Zimbal and Emma Johnson (6), and Mia Morrow (2). The Lady Indians recorded 20 turnovers and 18 fouls and made 11 of 18 from the stripe.

In other first round girls contests, Golden Plains defeated Triplains-Brewster 48-20; Logan beat Cheylin 46-29, and Wallaco County defeated Wichita County 57-35.

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