Golden Plains continues perfect run in 1A, Div. II

Golden Plains continues perfect run in 1A, Div. II
Golden Plains continues perfect run in 1A, Div. II(Mike Courson)
Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 7:48 PM CST
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GREAT BEND, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Four perfect regular seasons but the Golden Plains girls have yet to win a state title in that run. Friday night the Lady Bulldogs got one step closer. Golden Plains led Central Christian by as many as 11 points late to reach Saturday’s Class 1A, Div. II title game with a 33-23 win.

“This is a pretty good environment,” said Lady Bulldog coach Parker Christensen. “It doesn’t take a very big crowd to really feel the energy. We’re excited. We were here last year and it was a little disappointing. Whoever it is, it will be an outstanding team. We’re going to come and compete and play the best we can.”

Last year the Lady Bulldogs made it to the state semifinals before falling to Central Plains in the Lady Oilers’ bid for a seventh-straight state title.

Friday at Barton Community College, Golden Plains used a big third quarter to pull away for good. Tied 16 at the half, the Lady Bulldogs used four offensive boards in a single possession before senior Kassie Miller scored her first basket of the game for an 18-16 lead early in the third.

”I didn’t realize that was the first basket for our leading scorer,” Christensen said. “For us to still be leading, that says something about the rest of our team. Kassie gets a lot of the credit, but everyone contributes in the way they can to make us better.

”Central Christian answered right away via 6-2 senior Alyssa Lambert inside. Golden Plains pulled back ahead 40 seconds later on a pass from junior Brianna Rath to senior Morgan Wark inside. Miller found sophomore Jordyn Fleckenstein for a jumper, then Fleckenstein converted a pair of free throws late in the third to put Golden Plains on top 24-18 with a quarter to play.

Lambert capitalized on an offensive board from teammate Anna Lambert early in the fourth, but Rath had the answer with one of just three Lady Bulldog threes in the game. Senior Rayna Taylor hit the other two in the first quarter.

”It’s a struggle,” Christensen said. “We’re not the most talented offensive team but (Thursday) night, everything was going in.”Rath hit another long shot with a toe on the line, then Miller hit a runner with 4:15 remaining in the game. Miller’s offensive board led to free throws to give Golden Plains its largest lead of the night at 31-22 with 1:42 to play.

Junior Kaylee Kauffman scored a team-high eight points for Central Christian, followed by Alyssa Lambert with seven points and five rebounds. The Lady Cougars end their season at 21-4.Fleckenstein scored eight points off the bench to lead Golden Plains. Miller and Taylor each added six points, and Miller also had nine rebounds and six steals. Rath added five points. The Lady Bulldogs take a 24-0 record into Saturday’s state championship game.

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