NEWTON — Rose Hill senior Randi Lucas placed both hands on her head after taking a shot early in the third quarter on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Newton tournament. Lucas had tried to shoot over Salina South's Sally Thompson, who, at 6-foot-3, owned a four-inch advantage.
Lucas' shot was off, and her show of frustration revealed just how much Thompson had gotten into her head. Thompson, who sat on the bench for most of the first half with foul trouble, finished with three blocked shots, while teammate Taylor Goodness blocked one.
Salina South used that dominance in the lane to hold Rose Hill's starting forwards to one point in a 51-37 victory. Salina South will play Andover Central, a 57-35 winner over Olathe Northwest, in tonight's 6:30 semifinal.
"When (Thompson) got back in there, it changed what they were doing inside and out," Rose Hill coach Jenny Page said."... I think going in, we knew (Lucas) would have her hands full. We got (Thompson) in foul trouble early, and we should have taken advantage of it. We really didn't. In the second half, she came in and frustrated Randi."
Never miss a local story.
Thompson is lean and long, and she moves well. But even when she just stood there, her long arms were extremely difficult for Rose Hill to shoot over.
" (Thompson) obviously made a difference playing post defense, how many shots she blocked, and pressured shots the other girls shot," Salina South coach Jason Hooper said.
Yet Salina South didn't dominate the rebounding, only getting one more rebound than Rose Hill, and the Rockets had the edge in offensive rebounding, 14-10.
"On paper, we're at a disadvantage," Page said. "We came in here a smaller 4A school, we don't have the height or the size.... I'd like to think we'd come in and be competitive, though."
And Rose Hill was, for most of the game. The Rockets played strong defense, with six Rockets getting steals, including Courtney Rash's three.
Early on, Rose Hill guard Kelsey Webber scored on a fastbreak following a steal by Whitney Bates, then hit three free throws after she was fouled on a three-point attempt. The score was tied at the end of the first quarter until McKenzie Haynes hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer for Salina South.
Rose Hill trailed by five at the half, but the third quarter was critical.
Goodness opened the second half with four straight points, then Ashley Carey hit a three, and Rose Hill was down by 10. While Salina South hit 7 of 8 from the floor in the period, Rose Hill was 4 of 13 and finished 14 of 54 for the game.
Salina South had six players with seven or more points, including Thompson's team-high 11. Webber led Rose Hill with 12, while Bates had 10.
Rose Hill10 7 9 11 — 37 Salina South13 9 16 13 — 51
ROSE HILL: Webber 12, Rash 0, Lucas 1, Bates 10, Burnett 4, Justice 3, Downing 3, Bonar 4. Totals 14 9-12 37.
SALINA SOUTH: Bristow 1, Goodness 9, Thompson 11, Carey 9, Antenen 7, Smith 7, Holloway 0, Haynes 0. Totals 21 (4) 5-9 51.
Andover Central 57, Olathe Northwest 35 — Andover Central coach Stana Jefferson recently has been pressing her team to start games better, to quit waiting until the second half to start playing solid basketball.
The Jaguars listened.
Andover Central played a stellar first half in taking a 34-17 lead. The Jaguars shot 12 of 29 from the floor, forced 11 steals and held Olathe Northwest to 6-of-22 shooting.
Senior guard Tiffany Bias scored 13 of her 22 points in the first half, including a buzzer-beating half-court shot at the end of the first quarter. She also chased down a fastbreak by Olathe Northwest and blocked the shot into the stands.
"In the last couple games we've played, we haven't come out well in the first quarter, and I've been preaching and preaching that you can't come out flat and hope to catch up in the third quarter," Jefferson said."... I'm proud of the way we came out. We talked about defense, not letting them go where they want and get in the passing lanes."
Andover Central's second half wasn't nearly as fun to watch. The Jaguars committed 10 turnovers, were just 6 of 18 in the half and scored only eight third-quarter points. While the game was never in doubt, it wasn't what Jefferson wanted to see.
"I felt like we flip-flopped," Jefferson said. "That third quarter was not good.... I must not have yelled as much at halftime."
She paused to laugh at her own joke.
"No, we came out flat defensively, and if we don't play good defensively, and we're not in passing lanes and running down the boards, we're not good offensively," she said. "Our offense depends on our defense."
Olathe Northwest10 7 7 11 — 35 Andover Central15 19 8 15 — 57
OLATHE NORTHWEST: DeGroot 10, Carter 4, Ramsey 6, Hoisington 0, Blevins 4, Landherr 7, Haney 2, Smith 2. Totals 11 13-17 35.
ANDOVER CENTRAL: Bias 22, Chapin 10 Harding 2, Gee 3, Tennyson 10, Chamberlin 4, Henrey 2, Potter 1, Stiverson 3. Totals 18 (7) 14-22 57.
Newton 43, Dodge City 38 — Newton made 14 of 18 free throws in the final period, 18 of 24 for the game. Newton junior Kate Lehman, who had a team-high 13 points and 10 rebounds, hit all eight free-throw attempts in the final period.
Newton struggled shooting (11 of 37) and was outrebounded (40-34, including 22-10 on the offensive boards).
"They're physical," Newton coach Randy Jordan said. "They're just physical. We just never got into any kind of rhythm because of that. I told them, 'You've got to get strong, you've got to box out.' "
Newton had a 35-26 lead with five minutes to go in the game, but Dodge City rallied. The Demons got two quick baskets and a three-pointer from Brenna Briggs to get Dodge City within 37-33 with 53 seconds to go. Briggs scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter after missing her first seven shots.
Dodge City's A'zlynn Thompson hit a three with 21.5 to go, cutting Newton's lead to 39-38. Thompson finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
But Newton hit four straight free throws in the final 19.9 seconds for the win.
Newton10 9 6 18 — 43 Dodge City6 9 9 14 — 38
NEWTON: Vogts 3, Scott 4, Lehman 13, Minkevitch 7, McCartney 4, McMullen 5, Hiebert 7. Totals 11 (3) 18-24 43.
DODGE CITY: Buckner 5, Thompson 13, Ehrlich 6, Briggs 9, Ortiz 3, Pencis 2. Totals 16 (2) 4-12 38.
Bishop Miege 59, Garden City 46
Garden City10 5 13 18 — 46 Bishop Miege18 13 12 16 — 59
GARDEN CITY: Heitschmidt 3, Curran 2, Gonzalez 14, Sassaman 11, Martinez 8, Schmale 8. Totals 15 (6) 10-12 46.
BISHOP MIEGE: Youngstrom 18, Westhoff 2, Hopper 9, Person 1, Hughes 8, Silkman 2, Mika 5, Stewart 4, Maurer 10. Totals 20 (9) 10-16 59.