The NCKL girls’ champion, more than likely, will be Wamego who opened the night with a 63-34 victory over the visiting Abilene Cowgirls.
The Lady Raiders are still undefeated (7-0) in NCKL play this season, and 16-1 overall and have a slim half-game lead in the NCKL standings over Clay Center, which improved to 6-1 in NCKL action Friday night with a 54-35 win over Marysville. Clay Center’s lone NCKL loss was a 50-48 loss against Wamego earlier this season. The two will meet up again this Tuesday night in Clay Center.
The Red Raider boys have just one NCKL loss this season, that being the double overtime defeat it suffered last week in Abilene. Friday night the Red Raiders earned their revenge over the Cowboys and didn’t need any extra frames to get the job done.
The 34-33 loss by Abilene was the Cowboy’s second NCKL loss this season as they also lost to Concordia early in the regular season.
Wamego concludes its 2012-2013 NCKL season when it plays at Clay Center this Tuesday night and plays host to Marysville the following Tuesday. The Red Raiders have already defeated both Clay Center and Marysville’s boys teams this season.
Winning the NCKL championship was the first goal that Wamego Lady Raiders coach Jim Page lays in front of his team at the start of every season.
"That is always our first goal of the year is to win league," Page said. "We did it last year and we hadn’t done it for a long time before that. Winning league is always a big goal. … It is a big goal for us."
The opening game of the night, the girls’ game, was not much of a contest after the opening tip as the Lady Raiders raced out to a 17-3 in the first seven minutes of the game and never looked back.
Wamego outscored Abilene 19-5 in the first quarter, led 42-20 at intermission, and continually pulled away.
"I think we ran our stuff pretty well tonight and we shot the ball pretty well," Coach Page said. "When you come out and shoot the ball pretty well it makes everything else pretty easier."
Kaylee Page led Wamego with 28 points, including four 3-pointers, while Lanie Page added 17 points with three more 3-pointers for the Lady Raiders.
Belle Barberi led Abilene with 11 points.
The boys’ game was much different as neither team was able to completely pull away from the other.
In the boys’ game there were eight lead changes and four ties and neither team led by more than five points at any point in the game. Abilene’s largest lead was 4 points which came in the first quarter and Wamego led by 5 twice in the contest, both times coming in the final quarter before Abilene came back and took its final lead with 1:25 remaining when Andy Wilson stole a pass and darted for a lay-up to give the Cowboys a 33-32 lead.
Wamego then held the ball for much of the final minute and Isaac Poe got fouled with only 10 seconds left in regulation. Poe sank both charity tosses giving the Raiders the final 34-33 lead.
Abilene had 10 seconds to get the ball back down the floor and Kane Kelly dribbled into the lane and passed to Jacob Harms, who led all scorers in the game with 15 points, for the possible game-winning shot.
But Harms’ shot bounced harmlessly away and Wamego grabbed the rebound and the victory.
Harms was Abilene’s only scorer in double figures while Wamego was led by Poe’s 10-point outing.
Abilene will play host to Hays this Tuesday before closing its regular season by hosting Clay Center next Thursday and playing at Chapman the following Tuesday.
Wamego closes its regular season with games at Clay Center this Tuesday and then hosting Marysville the following Tuesday.