May 30, 2024

Hugoton Girls Defeat Clay Center 55-36; Will Play in State Final For First Time

Park City, Kansas ( Both teams entered Friday’s state 4A-II semifinal hot.  Hugoton the top seed had won 13 in a row, Clay Center 10 of their last 11.  When the dust had settled Hugoton won their 21st game which surpassed the 1992-93 team for most wins in program history and were on their way to the state final for the first time beating Clay Center 55-36 at Hartman Arena in Park City.

Game Highlights

Defense once again sparked the win for the Hugoton girls.  After trailing early 8-5 on the strength of two three’s from both Macy Franson and Loren Williams the Lady Eagles outscored  Clay Center 9-3 the rest of the quarter and that was the beginning of a 29-9 stretch over the next two and a half quarters to claim the win in the Lady Eagles first ever appearance at the state semis.

Hugoton held Clay Center to 12-42 shooting for the game at 29 percent and only 3-13 for the game beyond the arc at 23 percent.  After connecting on their first two over the first four minutes, Hugoton limited Clay Center to just one three through the rest of the game. Franson who went 8-14 from the field in Thursday’s first round overtime win against fourth seeded Columbus was held to 3-13 for nine points in Friday’s loss. 

None of the Lady Tiger players hit double figures and after leading 8-5, Hugoton held Clay Center without a field goal over a nine minute stretch until the final three minutes of the half.

For all the excitement this run has meant to Hugoton, sophomore Katy Heger is driving this pursuit to a championship.  Heger hit 11-16 from the field and scored 29 points three shy of her career high 32 she set late last year in a win against Lakin.  That performance also set the school record. During this post-season run, Heger is 36-53 for 68 percent and has a 27 point performance in the win over Pratt added to her 29 point performance in the win over Clay Center in the state semis.

Dallie Hoskinson added 10 points and seven rebounds in the Eagles win, but most importantly she ran the controls of the offense and her slashing to the basket was difficult for Clay Center to defend.  Riley Sosa finished with a three point bucket and six rebounds. 

Hugoton Coach Andy Gillen’s Post-game comments

Hugoton will go on to Saturday’s state championship where they will face second seeded (21-3) Baldwin a 67-42 winner against sixth seeded Concordia.  Tip-off will be at 4pm.  Pre-game coverage  begins at 3:45 on Hits 106 and