SALINA — Cheney's Merissa Quick sat on the bench during every minute of last year's championship game in the Class 4A tournament.
A broken foot in the fourth quarter of the semifinals forced Quick to watch her teammates win the state title from courtside.
That won't be the case this season after Cheney's 35-31 victory over Basehor-Linwood in the state semifinals Friday.
"This is huge for me. It's something I've always wanted and always dreamed of. I'm excited that it's finally able to come true," Quick said. "We all know how bad we want this and how bad we want to be back in the championship game."
Quick kept a sluggish Cheney offense going with 12 points and 15 rebounds.
"Anytime you have Quick on your team, you're going to give people fits defensively," Basehor-Linwood coach Noah Simpson said.
Basehor-Linwood focused its defense on guards Ally Nikkel and Payton Scheer, leaving Quick one-on-one in the paint.
"Most of the time I was open under the basket," Quick said. "I knew this was my time and that I really needed to step up. Kylie Patterson and Jacie Scheer did a great job of taking open shots and feeding me the ball."
Cheney struggled to get things moving in the first half, committing nine of its 15 turnovers.
Down by two points, Patterson hit two of her seven points to tie things up at 16-16 by halftime.
Despite making 5 of 18 second-half shots, Cheney kept a five-point lead for a majority of the fourth quarter.
Basehor-Linwood missed all five of its shots in the final 48 seconds.
"It doesn't matter how we play, we won. We scored more points than them and that's all that matters in the end," Cheney coach Rod Scheer said. "We shot 36 percent from the field and came out on top. We'll take it anyway we can get it at the end."