By William / www.mcpherson-county-ks.com
BURRTON – After leading for three quarters, the Little River girls needed stiff defense to hold off a late game rally by St. John to earn a one-point, 40-39, win on Sunday in their Class 1A Division I sub-state championship game and a trip the state tournament.
With the victory, the Lady Redskins are now 22-1 for the season and will battle with Burlingame on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. at United Wireless Arena in Dodge City. Little River will be the number-three seed in state tournament while Burlingame will come in as seed number six carrying a season mark of 20-2.
Little River made a trip to Burlingame in mid-January and scored a 43-29 win.
Should the Lady Redskins win, they would then play the winner of number-two seed and unbeaten Centralia (23-0) and number-seven seeded Spearville (17-7).
The other side of the Class 1A Division I state bracket will have top-seed and undefeated Jetmore (23-0) playing eight-seed Clifton-Clyde (16-5), while number-four seed Osborne (22-1) battles fifth seeded Pretty Prairie (22-1).
Playing on Sunday instead of Saturday due to a wildland fire, the Lady Redskins came out strong in the first quarter and took a seven-point, 11-4 lead and held that same advantage of seven points at 20-13 as the two teams took the halftime break.
After adding one point to their lead, 31-23, by the end of the third quarter, Little River had to hold off a huge rally by St. John in the final eight minutes as they outscored the Lady Redskins 16-9 before Little River managed to hang on for the final one-point win.
Only going six-for-sixteen at the free throw line did no favors for the Lady Redskins but their defense prevailed as they blocked seven shots and stole the ball six times.
Alaina Eck led the Lady Redskins in scoring with 16 points while Lily Boughfman put 14 on the board to go along with five rebounds, two steals and six blocked shots. Although Aubrey Olander only scored a pair of points, she dominated the boards by grabbing 11 rebounds.
SCORING: 1 2 3 4 FINAL
LADY REDSKINS 11 9 11 9 40
St. John 4 9 10 16 39
St. John Team Stats: Not Available
LITTLE RIVER LADY REDSKINS TEAM STATS: FG 16-36; 3-PTR 2/7; FT 6/16; AST 5; REBS 22; TO 12; STL 6; BLK 7; PF 9.
LITTLE RIVER LADY REDSKINS INDIVIDUAL STAT LEADERS: Scoring (40 total points): Alaina Eck – 16; Lily Boughfman – 14; Elsie Boughfman – 5; Ashley Stephenson – 3; Aubrey Olander – 2. 3-Pointers Made (2): L. Boughfman, Stephenson – 1. Assists: E. Boughfman – 3; L. Boughfman, Stephenson – 1. Rebounds: Olander – 11; L. Boughfman – 5; Eck, E. Boughfman – 2; Stephenson, MeKenzie Renken – 1. Steals: Eck, L. Boughfman – 2; Olander, E. Boughfman – 1. Blocked Shots: L. Boughfman – 6; Olander – 1.
(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at email@example.com)