(CIK) The Central Plains Lady Oilers won their sixth straight Hilltop Classic by defeating the St. John Lady Tigers 60 to 19.
Central Plains Lady Oiler #11 Emily Ryan looks for a teammate to pass the ball to in the first quarter. The St. John Lady Tigers and the Central Plains Lady Oilers compete in the championship game at the 2019 Hilltop Classic held at the LT & Shelia Fleske Court in the Kirkman Activity Center at Barton Community College outside of Great Bend, Kansas on January 25, 2019. (Photo: Joey Bahr, www.joeybahr.com)
The undefeated Lady Oilers squared off for the second year in a row against a common foe for them, St. John. Both teams met in December and the Lady Tigers played Central Plains very tightly in the first half.
This meeting started off with a lack of offense. Both teams had multiple chances with the ball but they could not muster any points.
At 5:12 left in the first quarter, Avery Hurley of Central Plains scored the first points of the night with a made free throw.
St. John then took the ball and went down the court and scored to take a two to one lead. This is one of the few times this season that Central Plains trailed.
The Lady Oilers finally got their offense in gear and generated several baskets off of pressure turnovers. At the end of the first quarter, Central Plains lead 18 to 5.
Central Plains found another gear in the second quarter. They did not allow a single point from St. John for the entire quarter. On offense, the Lady Oilers scored 22 points in the quarter alone.
They ended the first half with a lead of 40 to 5.
Scoring wise, the third quarter was more balanced as St. John put 12 points on the board. Central Plains countered with 14. The Lady Oilers still enjoyed a 54 to 17 lead.
The game ended with a score of 60 to 19. 41 points is the largest margin of victory in the history of the Hilltop Classic.
Emily Ryan lead all scorers with 26 points. She was perfect from behind the free throw line going six for six. She also put away two three pointers on the night. Ryan ends the tournament scoring a three game total of 99 points.
Rachel Lamatsch and Delaney Rugan both scored ten points for the Lady Oilers.
"Our defense was really, really good," said Central Plains Head Coach Pat Stiles after the game. "We sped them up and our pressure finally worked on them a little bit."
In the five previous years that the Central Plains Oilers won the Hilltop Classic, they also won a State Championship. When asked if this win means another banner, Coach Stiles said, "We take each game one at a time. Right now we are focused on Otis-Bison Tuesday night and getting better each day."