ST. JOHN, Kan - The St. John girls held Central Plains senior Emily Ryan in check last Friday with just 19 points in the championship game of the Hilltop Hoops Classic. The Lady Oilers rolled 62-13 in that game, and Ryan did a variety of other things in the win. Friday night, the teams returned to league play where Ryan again fired in 19 as Central Plains cruised to a 64-22 win.
"For us it was easier because we like to know what they do defensively, especially when they run man," Central Plains coach Pat Stiles said of the quick rematch. "It made preparation easy for us. They know us too. When you get into league play, everyone knows each other."
The Lady Tigers got on the board first on a jumper from senior Bree Meyer 55 seconds in. That proved to be the lone St. John points for the first 14 minutes of the night. The Lady Oilers stymied St. John with the usual pressure and a handful of blocks inside.
"Defensively we are doing such a good job of helping each other and helping the helper," Stiles said. "We're just really smart defensively."
The Lady Oilers eventually got the ball rolling offensively to the tune of a 19-2 lead after one quarter. Sophomore Kassidy Nixon swished an early three and Ryan scored six points in the frame. Senior Addison Crites had a busy quarter with a pair of steals that lead to points and a putback.
The lead continued to grow as Nixon converted an offensive board early in the second, then Delaney Rugan took a steal the distance. Nixon added a three, Ryan dished to freshman Brynna Hammeke, and Ryan scored her own basket to make the lead 36-2. St. John finally ended its drought on a 3-pointer from sophomore Payton Meyer with 2:15 to play in the opening half. Central Plains still pulled away 43-10 by the break.
Scoring slowed in the second half. Rugan put up six of her 13 points in the second quarter. Ryan scored 17 of her 19 points in the first half. Nixon hit double figures with 11 points, and Crites grabbed seven rebounds to go with her five points.
"They were putting two girls on Emily, which opens up the other girls," Stiles said. "At Barton County we weren't as patient against the triangle and two. I thought we were a lot more patient this time."
Bree Meyer paced the Lady Tigers with nine points and senior Erin Crissman scored six points.