Hutchinson, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Two teams from the Great West Activities Conference who had faced off to an overtime battle met up on Saturday night. The stakes would be higher this time around, as the Hugoton Eagles and Goodland Cowgirls faced off in the Class 3A State Championship game inside the Hutchinson Sports Arena. Saturday’s winner would also see their program win their third state title in program history.
In a game that saw six ties and five lead changes, it came down to the very end, as Goodland would knock off Hugoton 48-47 in a thriller in Hutchinson.
The Lady Eagles started off with the early runs, leading 3-0 and using a 10-2 run in the opening quarter to lead 14-9 late in the first frame. Both teams struggled scoring early on in the second period, and Hugoton scored six straight and led 22-14 midway through the second quarter. The Cowgirls used the three-ball to rally back to within 28-27 in the final minute of the first half, only to see the Lady Eagles hit a pair of free throws to take a 30-27 halftime lead.
Goodland opened the second half with four straight to lead 31-30, and with the game tied at 33 with under four minutes left in the third stanza, Hugoton scored the final six points of the period to take a 39-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the final period, the teams would trade two points early, as the Lady Eagles took a 43-37 lead with 5:19 left. The Cowgirls would score the next eight points to lead 45-43 with 2:36 left. Hugoton tied the game at 45, and a Summya Adigun basket tied the game for the Lady Eagles at 47 with 58.1 seconds remaining. The Lady Eagles fouled Goodland’s Talexa Weeter with 30.9 left. Weeter hit the first free throw but missed the second. Hugoton used their last timeout with under 10 seconds left to set up their final play. They missed a shot in the paint, and the ball was knocked toward the sideline where Mikyn Hamlin threw up a shot from the boundary just before the horn sounded. Her shot banked off the backboard and rim, and the Cowgirls would win 48-47.
It was the second meeting of the season, where Hugoton defeated Goodland 42-38 in overtime on January 14, in a game that ended up determining the GWAC title.
Goodland was led by Talexa Weeter with 16 points, while Emma Lehman had 11 and Olivia Lehman added 10. The Cowgirls shot 39% from the field, and were 10-14 at the foul line.
Hugoton got a game-high 22 points from Gianna Vos, while Summya Adigun had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Lady Eagles were 40% from the field and 9-15 at the free throw line.
The loss dropped Hugoton to 2-1 in state championship games, while Goodland won their first state championship since 1980, and their third in school history.
Hugoton 16 14 9 8–47
Goodland 13 14 6 15–48
Hugoton (23-3): Salazar 0 0-0 0; Slocum 0 0-0 0; Vos 8 2-2 22; Adigun 3 5-7 11; Haar 2 2-4 6; Hamlin 3 0-2 8; Team: 16 9-15 47
Goodland (24-2): Biermann 0 0-0 0; Mitchek 2 2-2 7; Weeter 5 4-7 16; Cure 2 0-1 4; O. Lehman 5 0-0 10; E. Lehman 3 4-4 11; Hal. Blochlinger 0 0-0 0; Team: 17 10-14 48
Three-Pointers: Hugoton 6 (Vos 4, Hamlin 2), Goodland 4 (Weeter 2, Mitchek 1, E. Lehman 1); Rebounds: Hugoton 26, Goodland 30; Turnovers: Hugoton 17, Goodland 15: Fouls: Hugoton 10, Goodland 13; Fouled Out: Goodland (Mitchek).
Hugoton Coach Emmanuel Adigun