TOPEKA — When Andover Central's girls were sent home last season by Bishop Carroll in a sub-state final, coach Stana Jefferson hated the feeling of being home during Class 5A tournament week.
Senior Tiffany Bias, who was named Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year on Thursday, felt the same way.
"We remember that we sat home this week last year because of Bishop Carroll," Jefferson said.
Jefferson, Bias and the rest of the Jaguars get a shot at avenging that loss as Carroll and Andover Central both won quarterfinal games at the Kansas Expocentre on Thursday. The rematch is today in a 3 p.m. semifinal.
But both teams had to survive scares.
Andover Central (23-0) defeated Shawnee Heights 57-49, led by Bias' 31 points and five assists.
Bias got a lot of help from Kaitlin Tennyson and Cami Gee, but Bias put the game away by scoring the last five points.
"Tiffany is a game changer," Jefferson said. "I've had her for four years and every time I've taken her to state she's come out in the first game and done this. Very impressive by her, and her teammates stepped up right behind her."
Shawnee Heights tied the score at 48 with just over two minutes to play, but the Jaguars' confidence didn't waiver. Instead, Andover Central ended the game with an 8-1 run.
Gee gave the Jaguars a 52-49 lead, then Bias' defense took control.
She forced a turnover along the baseline, made two free throws, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and scored.
"We all have confidence," Bias said. "You can't think you are going to lose that game. You have to go all the way to the wire. Our defense got us there, and putting our free throws in."
Tennyson scored 11 points and made 3 of 5 threes, including one at the end of the first half after Shawnee Heights erased an 11-2 run by Andover Central. Gee, in her first game back from a bruised patella, scored five consecutive points in the fourth before Bias' run.
"I was going to give (Gee) 30 seconds to see how she ran — you go in and drive the paint and get an and-1 there's a good chance I'm going to keep you in there," Jefferson said. "Everything turned out great tonight."
For Bias, just thinking back to the feeling that she had this time last year is all the drive she needs.
"It was a bad taste in our mouth last year," Bias said. "We'll be ready. It's an incredible drive. You give all you have. We stayed in the gym for hours after practice. We're ready, and we came here and know what we need to do."
Carroll 43, Newton 38— When Carroll couldn't use its inside game because of foul trouble and the presence of Newton's Kate Lehman, Carroll turned to its bench.
Junior Sarah Balderas led the Eagles with 16 points and Carroll held off a late Newton rally.
"We are usually pretty good underneath, but we were getting nothing there tonight," Carroll coach Don Racine said. "It was a win. We got in some foul trouble and we had to do it that way."
That way was with Balderas. When Newton fought back to 39-34 with just over a minute to go, Balderas made 4 of 4 free throws. Balderas was the only consistent scorer as Nicole Walden was held to six points, and nobody else scored more than nine.
" (Balderas) is good enough to be there," Racine said. "She helped us out, did a nice job. She makes us pretty good when she plays that way."
Carroll forced 20 turnovers in the first half and it looked like a runaway early. But Newton's Lehman scored 17 of her 20 points in the second half.
"We couldn't have played a more poor half of basketball. We panicked, but it's a young team," Newton coach Randy Jordan said. "Once we settled down and started playing basketball we were fine. We dug ourselves too deep a hole early on and you can't do that in this tournament."
Bishop Miege 62, McPherson 47 — McPherson couldn't stop the Bishop Miege duo of Shandelyn Stewart and Adrianna Maurer, who combined for 27 points and 20 rebounds.
Miege, the defending 5A champion, shot 60 percent for the game (23 of 38) and outscored McPherson 17-8 in the final quarter.
McPherson was led by Casyn Buchman who scored 19 points. Katelyn Loecker added 14 points and nine rebounds.
"They are a physical team, they don't give you any easy looks," McPherson coach Chris Strathman said. "Our kids battled like crazy. Sometimes at state you get tough matchups but we got some great pieces coming back next year to make another run."