ANDALE, Kan. - Nickerson, who entered Friday ranked 7th in 4A, looked like they were well on their way to completing a comeback win at Andale when the unthinkable happened.
Morgan Stout, a 6'1" junior that leads the Lady Panthers with 22 points per game, went down. It looked like a bad knee injury right away--head coach Jon McLean confirmed as much after the game--one that could lead to an extended recovery time.
The Lady Panthers would have to finish without their star center who had just lead the Nickerson comeback from an early 16-5 deficit. And they would do just that behind the play of a freshman.
Andale took advantage of the now open post, rattling off 5 straight points to cut the deficit to 36-35. On the other end, the aforementioned freshman Kieryn Ontjes worked the post herself to get it to three, something not typically asked out of a 5'6" guard.
Andale would again go on a small run, this time taking a 39-38 lead behind a Morgan Bruna bucket. But tied at 40, that same freshman came up with a steal and breakaway bucket to make it 42-40.
With the Nickerson lead at 44-43 and 16 seconds remaining, Andale was in foul mode. But the Indians were whistled for a technical, leading to head coach Ted Anderson disagreeing with the call and being tossed from the game. The Lady Panthers hit three of the four technical free throws to make it a two possession game, effectively ending the game and keeping Nickerson's perfect record in tact with a 48-43 victory.
Nickerson will go for a 9-0 start against Hoisington Tuesday night while Andale will try to bounce back against Wellington.