Hoisington girls back on top at Keady with OT win
LARNED, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Once upon a time Hoisington was the dominant team at the Keady Classic, with four-straight wins from 2006-09. Last year the Lady Cardinals just missed another championship in a thriller against Spearville. Those two schools were back at it again in Saturday’s championship game. This time Hoisington won the overtime thriller 54-48.
“I’m excited for our kids,” said Lady Cardinal coach Mandy Mason. “This was obviously a goal for them, to come back here and win this tournament. I’m extremely proud of our kids. It wasn’t easy. Spearville kept coming at us and didn’t quit. It was a well-played game by both teams.”
Into the final two minutes of regulation, Hoisington looked to have the game in hand. A steal from sophomore Mallory Mooney led to a putback from junior Kylee Hahn, and the Lady Cardinals led 43-38 with just 1:52 on the clock.
But Hoisington missed a pair of free throws with 59 ticks left, and that left the door open for Spearville junior Tessa Kuker to hit one of her giant shots. Her fourth trey of the night tied the game at 43 with 40 seconds to play. Neither side could get off a good final shot and the game headed to overtime.
There the Lady Cardinals again took control. Senior Livvy Brewer hit a jumper just 24 seconds in, then Hahn scored on a drive for a 47-43 score with 2:59 to play. Hoisington at times faltered but never trailed by more than a point after a 4-0 Spearville start to the game.
“Their zone defense and their length around the perimeter gave us some problems,” Mason said. “We didn’t handle the ball well at times, but we kept telling our kids they could do it. That was the biggest thing. We kind of lost faith in ourselves. But when it came down to it, they wanted this thing so bad so turned their game around.”
The Lady Lancers managed to tie the score once more at 47-47 but Hahn had the answer right away with a pair of free throws. She added another free throw, then a Mooney steal and assist to Macy Hanzlick all but iced the game at 52-47 with 1:08 remaining.
Hoisington scored just two points in the first quarter against St. John in Friday’s semifinal game. The Lady Cards did little better Saturday but were still tied 6-6 after eight minutes.
Coach Mason had a nice mix of scoring all night with four players in double digits. That began in the second quarter as four Lady Cards had at least three points in the frame en route to a 23-20 halftime lead.
“We have some depth and we have kids who, on any given night, can lead our team in scoring,” said Mason. “That’s what makes our team so good. When someone isn’t shooting so well, we have several others who can put the ball in the hole. It gives us a very nice balance.”
Spearville junior Tawney Krominga eventually made it to the all-tournament team. She crashed to the floor early in the first and sat with an ice pack on her head. She returned only to go down with another injury. Finally, with 4:05 to play in the third, Krominga again hit her head on the floor, this time resulting in an extended delay.
In her absence, Kuker was huge from the outside with a team-high 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the perimeter. Senior Anna Stein added 10 points and seven rebounds before fouling out, and junior Kara Brakey had a big first half to finish with seven points and six rebounds, and junior Cameron Offerle added seven points and five boards.
The junior Hahn had a breakout game to finish with a career-best 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Cardinals. She grabbed eight rebounds and scored 11 points after the half.
“Kylee does a lot of things that people don’t always notice or see in the newspaper,” Mason said. “She plays extremely hard, she rebounds the ball well, she gets her hands on a lot of passes, and she has a lot of steals every game. She scored well today and we need that from her as well. She’s capable of doing that every night.”
Hanzlick scored 12 points and earned tournament MVP honors. Brewer also scored 12 points, and junior Addy Mason scored 11 points. Mason’s three triples in Saturday’s championship game gave her a new tournament record of 11 in three games, resetting the old mark of 10 set in 2005. Sophomore Jordyn Boxberger did not score but grabbed seven rebounds.
Hanzlick, Hahn, and Mason were all named to the all-tournament team. They are joined by Spearville’s Stein and Krominga; St. John’s Darby Smith and Heidi Fisher; Bucklin’s Halie Feikert and Sydnie Jones; Ellis’ Emily Eck, and Macksville’s Mayce Russell.
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