Park City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Hugoton Lady Eagle Basketball team took enough from last year’s experience at the state tournament. Motivated after their first round loss to Holton, the Lady Eagles made it a goal to get back and win it all. Saturday at the Hartman Arena in Park City they accomplished what they set out to do taking the state 4A-II girls championship.
Tied at 17-17 early in the second quarter, Hugoton went on a 14-2 run sparking the top seed Lady Eagles 68-54 win over Baldwin. The Bulldog did go on their own 7-0 run to answer Hugoton’s spurt late in the first half on three careless turnovers from the Lady Eagles. Hugoton regained their composure scoring back to back buckets ending the first half and took firm control in the third quarter en route to the win.
For the Lady Eagles it’s their first state championship in basketball. Hugoton finishes the season on a 15 game winning streak and set a school record with their 22nd win. Hugoton finishes at 22-2 and ends Baldwin’s season at 21-4.
Hugoton was led by sophomore Katy Heger during this tournament. Over her four prior games this postseason she went 36-53 from the field for a whopping 68 percent and averaged 22 points. In the state final Heger received some help from both freshman Dallie Hoskinson and sophomore Amy Scott.
Hoskinson slashed to the rim and piled on the points from the line going 11-12 from the stripe for 21 points and was five of nine shooting from the field. Scott poured in 25 on 8-9 shooting and was a perfect three of three from beyond the arc.
Baldwin never was able to utilize their height advantage. Senior post player Maddie Ogle scored 22 points, sixteen in the second half on 10-19 shooting and Alexia Stein added 14, but Hugoton was able to play virtually even on the boards (25-23) despite being outsized. Ogle did her part to help lead Baldwin to a state title scoring 42 points over the final two days of the tournament.
For most teams shooting from the free throw line becomes an adventure. For the Lady Eagles it was where there made their living. Over the last two games at state Hugoton connected on 41 of 47 free throw attempts for a whopping 87 percent. Hugoton came into the tourney hitting at 67 percent.
Hugoton made it a series of first this year. It was the first time in school history they made back-to-back trips to state. It was also their first 22 win season. First time they went perfect in conference play at 10-0. Hugoton also added their first win at state, and first appearance in the state semis and finals in addition to their first state championship.
Hugoton won their three games at state by an average score of 59-46. Coach Andy Gillen also adds his second state championship as a coach after leading South Gray to the 1A title in 2010.
Postgame comments Hugoton Sophomore Amy Scott
Postgame comments Hugoton Senior Riley Sosa
Postgame comments Hugoton Head Coach Andy Gillen
The Lady Eagles lose four seniors, but they appear poised to make another run toward state next season by bringing back their core leaders including sophomores Katy Heger, Amy Scott and freshman point guard Dallie Hoskinson.