Lady Chieftains Knocked Out of State by New Champions

By REX ZIMMERMAN

State

Just one cold shooting quarter. That’s all it took to dash the hopes of a state championship for the South Barber Lady Chieftains. South Barber dropped a tough 55-38 decision to Centralia on Thursday, March 10, at the Class 1A, Div. I State Tournament held at the Dodge City Civic Center.

The 6th seeded Lady Chiefs played 3rd seed Centralia dead even for three quarters in last week’s game, but were outscored 16-3 in a crucial second period that gave the Lady Panthers the margin they needed to win. Coach Steve Roberts and his squad end the season with an outstanding 18-6 record.

South Barber shouldn’t feel too bad, however. Centralia went on to defeat defending state champion Hoxie by 15 points in the semi-finals and clobbered Waverly by 18 points in the championship game to win the title.

The loss at State was the final game for senior point guard Nicole Blick. South Barber will return all its other players for what they anticipate will be another run through the tough Heart of the Plains League and chance for a third straight trip to State.

Stay Close Early

The Lady Chieftains got off to a slow start in Thursday’s opener at State, but a couple of buckets inside by sophomore center Idallis Shaffer and another basket by junior Madison Polson got the girls right back in the game. Junior guard Anna Perez then nailed a 3-pointer and senior Nicole Blick followed with another score to give South Barber an 11-10 lead with 20 seconds left in the opening quarter. But Centralia got a basket and foul shot to go ahead 13-10, and continued on a 16-3 run in the second eight minutes to take command 29-14 at halftime. The Lady Chiefs had good shots, but they just wouldn’t fall, while Centralia’s size helped bottle up any easy shots inside.

n the second half, both teams battled neck-and-neck, but South Barber just couldn’t whittle down the big Panther lead.

Idallis Shaffer scored 14 points and pulled down 5 rebounds to lead the Lady Chieftain attack with junior Sabrina Hughbanks adding 9 points as she was 3 of 4 shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Bailey Roberts added 5 points, Anna Perez 4 points and 3 assists, Madison Polson 4 points, and Nicole Blick 2 points and 3 rebounds. Also getting playing time were Morgan Polson, Kaleigh Velasquez, Bryn Rathgeber and Savannah Hughbanks.

Centralia was led by Katie Glatczak with 18 points and Chelsea Huerter with 12 points.

HOPL Well Represented

The Heart of the Plains League sent five teams to state tournaments this season. In 1A Div. I, both the Lady Chieftains and Pretty Prairie boys lost in the opening round. In the 1A Div. II tournament, also played in Dodge City, the Hutch-Central Christian boys lost in the opening round, while in a big surprise the top-seeded Norwich girls also were defeated in their tourney opener.

The Attica boys, however, rolled through their bracket to bring home a State Championship by defeating Hartford 54-52.