Thursday, 18 April 2019
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Cinderella Story Continues as Royal Valley Upsets TMP Advancing to 3A State Title Game
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

3A State Semifinals in Hutchinson - Royal Valley 54, Hays TMP 52 in overtime

Simply put, Royal Valley is on a roll.  It doesn't matter the record, seed, state ranking, stats or venue.  Another upset win and now the #7 seeded Panthers (17-7) are in the 3A Girls State Championship Game for the first time in school history.  Heck, Royal Valley girls had only been to state basketball three previous times and never won a game.  But after avenging a pair of double-digit losses this season and knocking off #1 ranked Nemaha Central 51-48 on Thursday, Royal Valley rallied from a 41-36 deficit in the last 51 seconds to force overtime Friday and then beat #3 seed Hays TMP-Marion 54-52.

The Panthers shot only 35 percent in a defensive semifinal struggle and was out-rebounded 46-27 while being outscored 16-3 on second chance points and making just 13 of 25 free throws.  Yet, they had only eight turnovers and forced Hays TMP into 19 mistakes while getting some big shots and key defensive stands before hitting 8 of 10 free throws in overtime to take the win.  Senior leader Tamo Thomas connected on her fourth trey of the game with 1:25 left in overtime to give Royal Valley the 46-43 lead for good.  The Panthers made six straight free throws to pad the lead and another freebie by Tamo with seven seconds left made it 54-50, before TMP hit a put back as time expired.  Thomas scored 20 points and added five steals and three assists while Mary Broxterman posted her second straight 13-point outing and Kiikto Thomas aded 12 points.  Marlissa Jordan had six and Danielle Stithem had two as well as Bella Thompson who hit her basket with two minutes left in overtime to tie the score at 43.  

Royal Valley traieled 10-7 after one quarted but a 7-0 spurt gave them a 14-10 lead and the game was tied at halftime.  Aubrey Koenigsman hit a trey to end the third quarter as TMP led 26-23.  But a trey by Jordan put the Panthers up 32-31 in the fourth quarter and Broxterman hit a shot to tie the score at 35 with two minutes left in regulation.  Two free followed for each Jillian Lowe and Savannah Yost before Kayla Vitztum of the Monarchs hit two more charities to produce the biggest lead for either team in the game at 41-36 with 51 second to go.  Kiikto made a driving basket and then Royal Valley forced a jump ball and got a steal with 32 ticks remaining.  After a timeout, Tamo Thomas hit a trifecta's to tie the game and the Panthers defense held to force overtime.      

Hays TMP fell to 21-3 on the season and will try to take third place at 3A state for the third straight year.  Thye got 17 points from Vitztim and 12 from Koenigsman and made 17 of 23 free throws in the loss.  Royal Valley, who has won their last four games all by three points or less, including a pair of overtime contests with their season on the line, will play for the 3A State Championship at 4:00 PM on Saturday afternoon live from Hutchinson on KNZA 103.9 FM.  They will play another higher seeded opponent for the fourth straight game, as they battled #1seed Garden Plain.    

©2019 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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