Norton holds off Scott City for first final four since '01

HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Scott City had all the momentum in their favor late in the fourth, but it wasn't enough to complete a massive comeback in their loss to Norton Wednesday.

Norton, the second seed in the Class 3A state tournament, survived to beat 7 seed Scott City 48-45, despite seeing a 15 point lead get as close as 1 in the final minute.

It was all Norton in the first quarter, where the Blue Jay defense held the Lady Beavers to just one made shot from the field in the opening frame.

Scott City answered, starting the second on a 10-0 run of their own to tie the game up at 13 before Norton ended the quarter by scoring the final 7 points.

Then looking like they were going to enter the fourth quarter with an 11 point lead, Norton was fouled attempting a long three at the third quarter buzzer, sending Allison Engelbert to the line where she connected on all three attempts to make it a 39-25 game with 8 minutes to go.

In the fourth, the Blue Jays saw their lead slowly come crashing down, with Scott City chipping away getting it to 44-43 late, then again to 1 point at 46-45.

The Blue Jays missed a pair of free throws with 12 seconds on the clock, but with a chance at the lead Scott City couldn't convert, and Norton drained the proceeding two foul shots to seal the three point victory.

Three players scored in double figures for Norton, with Hadley Hauser and Taryn Kuhn leading the way with 12 points apiece. Tayli Hartwell added 10, 5 of those coming from the foul stripe. Emily Weathers lead all scorers, pacing the Lady Beavers with 15.

Scott City sees their season come to an end with a 17-7 mark following the loss. Norton will face off with 6 seed Royal Valley after the defending state runner-up came away with a big 20 point win over Eureka.