While Wellington coach Eric Adams was sure his team enjoyed playing a thrilling, back-and-forth Class 4A-I quarterfinal at the Bicentennial Center on Wednesday, his level of enjoyment was much less.
“They’re not fun (games) to coach in, I’ll tell you that,” Adams said.
Wellington hung on to beat DeSoto 62-57 despite giving up two double-digit leads to get the Crusaders’ first girls state tourney win.
“We’re a very strong team,” Wellignton junior Lauryn Snipes said. “After we get down, we get back up.”
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“We persevere,” added Wellington senior Grace Mitchell, who scored 20 points.
Wellington (23-0) doubled up DeSoto for a 30-15 lead midway through the second quarter. Snipes scored 11 of her game-high 23 points in the period, while McKenna Adams added three-pointers on consecutive possessions.
But DeSoto answered with an 10-0 run to get within five points late in the half. The Wildcats did it again in the third quarter when, trailing 41-32, they went on an 8-0 run to get within 41-40.
“A lot of it was hustle things that DeSoto was doing and we weren’t that they’ve been doing all year to get to where we are,” Adams said.
Wellington appeared to have finally taken complete control with a 10-2 run in the fourth for the 58-48 lead with 2:57 to go. But again, DeSoto rattled off a 9-0 run and was within 58-57 with 45 seconds to go after Tanith Beal’s three.
“They had our girls taken back, stunned,” Adams said. “Credit to our girls, they gathered themselves, picked themselves back up and we won a state game.”
Snipes scored with 35 seconds to go and then got a steal. She missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Shayland French rebounded a missed DeSoto three.
French was fouled on the rebound and, despite missing her previous three free throws, made both.
“Huge, clutch,” Mitchell said.
“You don’t know about (French), but she’ll play for you,” Snipes said. “She’ll play very hard for you.”
Wellington made 50 percent of its shots and 15 of 28 from the line.
DeSoto was led by Mariah Grizzle’s 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Labette County 53, McPherson 45 – As McPherson coach Chris Strathman perused the statistics, he noted two glaringly negative stats.
One was the rebounding margin, as Labette County (21-2) out-rebounded McPherson 43-32. Even worse, McPherson made 1 of 20 three-pointers.
“We did have some good looks,” Strathman said. “They’re the same girls shooting them that we had shooting them the last few games, and they were going in. Sometimes it just catches up with you. You live by it, you die by it. Tonight we just didn’t make them.”
McPherson (20-3) still led 25-22 in the first 11 seconds of the third quarter. But the Bullpups went without a field goal for more than seven minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters as Labette County took a 43-32 lead.
McPherson battled back with a 13-2 run, tying the score at 45-all with 2:17 to go on two free throws by Kamryn Collins.
But McPherson didn’t score again as Labette County scored the game’s final eight points.
“It’s a miracle we were tied 45-all,” Strathman said.
McPherson sophomore Taylor Robertson scored a team-high 15 points on 7-of-20 shooting, including 1 of 11 from three. Mandi Cooks added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Labette County was led by Tristan Gegg’s 30 points, while Clancie Sorrell had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Miege 67, Andale 46 — Miege, the No. 1 seed and two-time defending champion, rolled past Andale by forcing 23 turnovers.
“No doubt, the turnovers killed us,” Andale coach Ted Anderson said. “… I knew their quickness was going to be a problem for us. The quickness and the speed, you can’t simulate that in practice.”
Miege scored the game’s first seven points and by the midpoint of the second quarter had a double-digit lead it wouldn’t lose.
Kadey Dreiling, who scored a game-high 17 points, scored Andale’s first points on a jumper two minutes in and then made a three-pointer to get within 7-5 of Miege. Dreiling also added eight rebounds.
Miege was led by Tristen McFeders’ 16 points and 13 apiece from Shelbe Piggie and Hunter Bentley.