CONWAY SPRINGS — After three tries, Garden Plain conquered Wichita Collegiate.
It took a 25-point effort from senior Ann Pauly, but the Owls jumped on the Spartans from the opening tip for a 52-40 victory Saturday night in the Class 3A sub-state championship at Conway Springs.
Collegiate (21-2) had eliminated Garden Plain in substate the past two years, but this group of Owls (18-5) was determined not to suffer the same fate.
"We have been planning for this day since the beginning," Garden Plain coach Sarah McCormick said. "They're always in our sub-state, so we know we're always going to face them. That's what we've been planning for, and we got it today."
Pauly's scoring included two three-pointers that appeared to be from NBA range.
"When I first started coaching her as a freshman, I was like, 'What are you doing? Why are you shooting out there?' Then I realized, 'Oh, she can make it, so then I'll let her be.' "
Pauly said she was feeling a rhythm during the game.
"Once I'm feeling it, it's going in," she said. "It feels good."
The game was close throughout, and the Owls' final 12-point margin was their largest of the game. The Spartans managed to tie the score four times, but never in the second half.
Collegiate coach Terrance Phox said Garden Plain did all the right things to win.
"The bottom line is they did some things and made some shots," Phox said. "They controlled some aspects of the game at critical times."
Spartans junior Ashia Woods struggled to get 12 points, fouling out with 56.4 seconds to play. She was held scoreless in the third quarter, when Collegiate scored six points.
"She missed some shots that she normally makes," Phox said of Woods. "Ashia's a great player, she's a great kid, and she's just a junior."
Samantha Ledy had six key first-half points for the Owls and finished with 11 points. Junior Jordan Hoheisel battled Woods and Sadie Clark inside with six points and six rebounds.
Collegiate's Clark muscled her way inside for a team-high 13 points.
Garden Plain12 13 10 17 — 52 Collegiate10 14 6 10 — 40
GARDEN PLAIN: Hubert 9, Hoheisel 6, Ledy 11, Pauly 25, Potter 1. Totals 16 (3) 17-28 52.
COLLEGIATE: Green 2, Phox 4, Clark 13, Broberg 2, Woods 12, Lower 2, Dunn 3, Holden 2. Totals 14 (2) 10-19 40.