TMP girls play Hugoton close in second half
HAYS, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Thomas More Prep-Marian trailed state-ranked Hugoton by 15 at halftime. In the second half, TMP coach Rose McFarland believed her team played “much better.” McFarland thought the Monarchs could have significantly narrowed the margin.
Hugoton outscored the Monarchs by three points in the second half and won 51-33 on Friday at the 38th annual Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shoot-Out at Hays High School.
Hugoton, with its top-eight players back and No. 6 in Class 3A, showcased its depth and moved to 2-0. The Monarchs dropped to 1-1 in the four-team round robin tournament that concludes Saturday.
“I keep looking up – we make our free throws, a few less turnovers, and make some of those chip shots, we are right in the game, so I thought we did a lot of good things,” McFarland said. “Defensively, we didn’t play as good as I would like to see. We did better the second half, but there were times where we left people open, and we were just a little confused on what we were doing out there sometimes.”
Hugoton will play Life Prep (1-1 in the tournament) on Saturday. A win gives Hugoton the Shoot-Out championship. TMP faces cross-town foe Hays High (0-2).
Since ’07, the Monarchs have twice played Hays High. TMP won 47-40 on Dec. 7, 2013 and 53-27 on Dec. 6, 2014. This season, Kyleigh Allen is the Monarchs’ lone senior. Allen, a key three-year varsity player, is long known for defense. She has dealt with some inner knee pain.
“She works her tail off,” McFarland said. “I mean, she hustles all the time, and she’s a really good defender, and just stepping up as the leader on the floor, and she does it by example. She does everything I ask her to do, and if I told her to run into the wall, she would run into the wall, which she does sometimes.”
Hugoton had four players between seven and 12 points. Sophomore Gianna Vos tallied three points and two rebounds and played only 13 minutes in the season-opening win versus Hays High on Thursday. Vos bounced back with 10 first-half points and led the team in scoring with 12 on Friday.
“That’s just part of her growth, and that’s part of her maturity,” Hugoton coach Emmanuel Adigun said. “I think last year, a game like (Thursday), would have been very difficult for her to overcome by in 24 hours. Tonight, with her ability to come back and play well, it’s just a sign of major growth for her. She’s a terrific ball player, and when she is playing well for us, we are tough.”
As well, standout sophomore Mikyn Hamlin tallied 11 and has 34 in two tournament games. Vos and Hamlin hold Division I and/or Division II offers. Sisters Mikyn and senior McKenna Hamlin won the Hays Hotshot championship, a Shoot-Out staple.
McKenna finished with seven points versus TMP. Hugoton sunk six first-half treys and led 33-18 at intermission. Overall, Hugoton made seven treys. Senior Molly McClure, known for defense, has worked on her shooting and has tallied three 3s in two games, matching her total from ’19-20.
In Thursday’s opener, TMP beat Life Prep, 37-33, behind 18 points and eight rebounds from 6-foot junior Emilee Lane, a returning second team all-conference player. Lane tallied eight points versus Hugoton. She had seven rebounds in the last three quarters.
“She’s a really good player,” McFarland said. “She’s tough inside. She rebounds really well. I would like to see her maybe get a little more aggressive offensively, but we have got a nucleus team where she is our strong inside player. It kind of feeds off each other.”
Junior point guard Megan Hamel is a returning starter and paced the Monarchs with 10 points Sophomore 5-11 Jaci VonLintel, a first-year varsity player, has 12 points in two games. She can play both inside and outside.
McFarland was pleased that VonLintel and junior Kassidi Yost were “more aggressive” in the second half – even though shots didn’t fall. TMP missed 16 consecutive shots in the fourth quarter.
“I like my team,” McFarland said. “It’s a good nucleus, just got to get used to playing again together.”
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