Wagner's game winner lifts Maize South to perfect season

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WICHITA, Kan. - The night might have been billed as senior night, but it was a junior that stole the spotlight.

With the clock winding down and less than two seconds on the game clock, Katie Wagner put up a prayer on a busted play that fell, giving Maize South a 38-36 win over Goddard, sealing a perfect 20-0 regular season for the Mavericks.

"I just went for it, put my head down, I was like 'I'm getting to the rim,' I heard the student section calling out four, three..." said Wagner after the win. "That was electric!"

Wagner got her night started by scoring all eight of Maize South's first quarter point, but it was Goddard that took a lead late on a Kade Hackerott bucket. With Hackerott leading the charge, Goddard continued to build on that lead, going up 19-9 midway through the second quarter. Hackerott had 10 of her game high 17 points before halftime.

But Maize South battled back, with a Lexi Snodgrass three tying the game at 28 until it was a back and fort effort to the finish.

The win gives Maize South not only a perfect regular season record, but also a league title, their first in school history.

It was quite a finish to a special season for this group of seniors, the first the four girls have played together.

"I've never enjoyed basketball the way that I have this season," said Lauren Johnson, who matched Wagner with a team best 14. "We just come together so well that it can't be duplicated."

"This group of girls is just amazing. You never come to practice and expect someone not to work hard," added Snodgrass. "We're all like a family."

The perfect regular season and league title, the Mavs hope, will only be the beginning for this group. They'll open sub-state action at home Wednesday night against either Valley Center or Arkansas City, who will meet Monday in a play-in game.

Goddard finishes the regular season with an 18-2 mark, both losses coming at the hands of Maize South. They earned the number two seed in 5A sub-state, and will play the winner of Salina South and Great Bend Wednesday night.