Hutchinson, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Little did the teams know that when they took the court for the final game of the day, it would be the final state tournament game of the weekend on Thursday night. The Kansas State High School Activities Association sent a release publicly just minutes before tipoff between Scott City and Halstead that the state tournament statewide would be cancelled after the quarterfinals. In a battle of 20-3 teams, the Lady Beavers and Lady Dragons would play an extra eight minutes inside the Hutchinson Sports Arena.
Unfortunately for Scott City, Halstead would get hot from the field in the fourth quarter and in overtime, as they scored the final seven points in double overtime, en route to a 45-41 win. The teams would learn of the tournament cancellation after the game was played.
The first quarter would see the lead go back and forth, until Scott City scored seven straight to take an 11-4 lead with 2:36 left in the first quarter. Halstead rallied for the final five points of the period to pull to within 11-9 after the first quarter, then took the lead just seconds into the second frame at 12-11. The Lady Beavers would score the next nine points of the half and led 20-12 at intermission.
Their lead grew to 22-12 at the 6:53 mark of the third quarter. The Lady Dragons would break a drought of 9:11 with a basket, but Scott City maintained a lead throughout, and never let Halstead (21-3) get a run in the third period. A Brynn McCormick three would send the Lady Beavers to the fourth quarter with a 29-20 lead. Scott City played without Emily Weathers for the final 4:58 of the third quarter and for the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, due to her having four fouls.
In the fourth quarter, the Lady Dragons would see their shooting heat up. After shooting just 24% through three quarters, Halstead went 4-6 from the field, including a 3-3 performance on three’s. Their run started in the first two and a half minutes to pull to withing 29-28 with 5:38 left. Scott City (20-4) got another McCormick three to go up four, but a 5-0 Lady Dragon run gave them the lead with 3:11 left at 33-32. The Lady Beavers would tie the game on a Madison Shapland free throw with 1:38 remaining in regulation. Halstead held the ball, but would turn it over. Scott City called time, but were called for an over and back violation with three seconds, and the Lady Dragons didn’t get a shot up in time, which forced overtime at 33 apiece.
The Lady Beavers got a three-point play from Shapland to begin overtime to go up 36-33. Halstead responded with a three pointer, and then the teams traded baskets, before heading to a second overtime tied at 38.
Scott City scored the first three points in the second overtime to go up 41-38 with 2:23 left. However, Halstead would tie it up with another three with 2:04 left to tie the game at 41. The Lady Dragons would take the lead for good on a Kareena Gerber layup with 1:08 left, and they would hit two free throws with 18.5 seconds left to put the game away at 45-41.
Halstead got 13 points and 11 rebounds from Kaleigh O’Brien, and 12 points and 12 rebounds from Karenna Gerber. The Lady Dragons shot 35% for the game at 15-43, including going 8-21 on three’s. They ended up 7-12 at the free throw line and finished with 24 turnovers. Scott City got 15 points from Brynn McCormick and 10 from Emily Weathers. The Lady Beavers shot a season-low 24% at 13-54, including going 3-19 from three point range. They were 13-18 at the foul line, and had 19 turnovers. Halstead edged out Scott City on the glass 37-34.
With the win, Halstead won their first game in their first ever state tournament appearance. The Lady Beavers dropped their fifth straight state tournament game in their fourth state tournament game, all consecutively. It was Scott City’s fifth overtime game of the year, and their first double overtime game since January 17, 2013, when they lost to Liberal in the Orange & Black 59-58.
In the other state quarterfinal games on Thursday, Nemaha Central held off Osage City 45-35, Cheney outlasted Phillipsburg 66-53, and Frontenac edged Jefferson West in overtime 42-40.
Scott City’s senior class of five went 67-27 over their four years. Shelby Patton, Jacy Rose, Lyndi Rumford, Madison Shapland and Emily Weathers helped lead the program to their first-ever state appearance in 2017, and added three more state berths. They also led the Lady Beavers to a GWAC title in 2018, and the school’s first 20-win season this year.
Coach Sarah McCormick Postgame