CLAFLIN, Kan. - Otis-Bison entered Friday's Class 1A regional with just one loss - to top-ranked Central Plains. The Lady Cougars led late in the half in that game before falling big. Otis-Bison will get at least one more crack at the Lady Oilers in Saturday's regional championship game. Friday night the girls advanced to sub-state with a 45-16 win over LaCrosse.
"We're definitely coming out and trying to get a win," said Otis-Bison coach Robert Trapp. "If we get a win that's a chance for us to be a No. 1 seed instead of on the loser's side of the bracket. If we're on the loser's side of the bracket we can play two undefeated teams in Thunder Ridger and Golden Plains. We definitely want to come out and compete tomorrow. The first game, we were there that first half and then we went a little bit timid. The girls have practiced through that."
LaCrosse came ready to defend with four in the paint. The result was a low-scoring first quarter as the teams combined for just 12 points. The Lady Cougars turned the ball over twice in the first minute before junior Lauren Maier hit a jumper nearly two minutes in. On the other end, LaCrosse senior Patricia Webster scored four points early as the teams hit the second quarter tied at six.
The shots began to fall, first with a 3-pointer from Maier, then a jumper from Danica Bartonek. A putback and foul resulted in three points for Maddie Wiltse and gave Otis-Bison a 16-7 lead.
"When we start the game we always say we want to go inside," Trapp said. "I told them we just had to hit that outside shot. Once Lauren started hitting it, then in the second half Cristen, we changed up a little bit of our offense.
"I think when the girls came out today they were a little on edge as far as on fouls. Are we going to get into foul trouble when we're only playing five? I think we came out a little bit timid to start."
Leading 20-10 at the half, the Lady Cougars began to pull away for good behind the hot hand of Cristen Trapp. The senior made three field goals late in the third quarter, including a trey, and three more in the fourth. She scored 14 of her game-high 16 points in the final 16 minutes.
Wiltse and Maier each added nine points for Otis-Bison, and senior Cora Anderson finished with seven points. Webster paced the Lady Leopards with eight points, followed by seven points from Havyn Showalter and a free throw from Bailey Baalman.