By William /

DODGE CITY – It was not ending they were hoping for on Thursday as the Little River girls stumbled and struggled on offense in their first game at the Class 1A Division I state tournament and lost to Burlingame by six, 45-39.

With the abrupt ending to the season, the Lady Redskins close out 2021-22 basketball with a final record of 22-2 while Burlingame will move forward to tangle with unbeaten Centralia (24-0) on Friday.

“Pretty hard to talk about the game,” noted Lady Redskin head coach Brent Clark. “I thought we played very well in the first half, but went very cold in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter when we went one-of-fourteen from the field and just one-of-five at the free throw line. I also thought our defense was solid except for too much and giving the Lady Bearcats a lot of free throw opportunities.”

After beating Burlingame 43-29 in January, many expected Little River to come out on top and for the first sixteen minutes of the game they held the edge. The Lady Redskins were up by two, 11-9, at the end of the first quarter and held a slim, three-point, 26-23, advantage when they headed to the halftime break.

Coming out of the intermission, the Lady Redskins went ice cold on offense giving the Lady Bearcats the opportunity to out score them 15-9 in the third quarter and take the lead in the game by three at 38-35. With foul troubles hampering three members of the Lady Redskins lineup, Burlingame hit key free throws when needed in the final eight minutes and earned the final six-point victory over Little River.

For the game, Little River shot a miserable 29% from the field for the game and after making three-of-four free throws in the first half could only finish one of five in the final quarter.

Lily Boughfman finished out an outstanding Lady Redskin career by leading the team in scoring with 11 points while also grabbing six rebounds, making six steals, and blocking a shot. Boughfman will now move on to play volleyball at Fort Hays State.

Aubrey Olander only scored five points but was dominate in the paint by pulling down 13 rebounds and blocking a pair of shots.

Coach Clark concluded his post-game reflections by adding, “We had a great season as these young ladies poured their hearts into the season and it is sad it ended the way it did. I am proud of them all.”

While they will say goodbye to seniors Lily Boughfman (Little River’s leading scorer), MeKenzie Renken, Amaya Sneath, and Raelynn Welsh, they will be returning sophomores Aubrey Olander (teams leading rebounder and second leading scorer), Alaina Eck, Kate Ellwood, and Ashley Stephenson along with freshman Elsie Boughfman.

This means that looking ahead looks good for the lady Redskins as they will aim for a return trip to state in 2023, returning six of the top ten scorers and three of the top four rebounders.

SCORING:                 1          2          3          4          FINAL

LADY REDSKINS       11       15       9          4          39

Burlingame               9          14       15       7          45

Burlingame Team Stats – No Stats Available.

LITTLE RIVER LADY REDSKIN TEAM STATS: FG 15-52; 3-PTR 5/19; FT 4/9; AST 11; REBS 33; TO 17; STL 11; BLK 6; PF 18.

LITTLE RIVER LADY REDSKINS INDIVIDUAL STATS: Scoring (39 total points): Lily Boughfman – 11; Elsie Boughfman – 6; Alaina Eck – 6; Aubrey Olander – 5; Amaya Sneath – 4; Raelynn Welsh – 4; Ashley Stephenson – 3. 3-Pointers Made (5): Eck – 2; E. Boughfman, L. Boughfman, Stephenson – 1. Assists: Eck – 3; L. Boughfman, Olander – 2; E. Boughfman, Sneath, Stephenson, MeKenzie Renken – 1. Rebounds: Olander – 13; L. Boughfman – 6; E. Boughfman, Eck – 4; Sneath – 3; Stephenson – 2; Welsh – 1. Steals: L. Boughfman – 6; Stephenson – 3; E. Boughfman, Olander – 1. Blocked Shots: E. Boughfman, Olander – 2; L. Boughfman, Welsh – 1.

{Photo = Amaya Sneath playing defense against Burlingame, photo from Tate Sneath and Little River Athletics Facebook page)

(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at