Friday, 20 April 2018
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Valley Heights Girls End Season With Runner-Up Finish at 2A State Tournament
By Jonny Kane

After pulling off a pair of upset wins over West Elk and Olpe in the first two round of the Class 2A State Tournament in Manhattan, the Valley Heights girls’ basketball team finished up its season with a runner-up finish at state falling to top-seed and undefeated Central Plains 48-32 in the championship game Saturday afternoon.

The Mustangs got to the championship game with a thrilling 63-59 win over two-seed Olpe Friday, as senior Kayla Smith exploded for 27 points.

Neither team saw a lead of more than 3 points in the first half, as the Mustangs took a one-point lead into halftime and after three quarters.

In the fourth quarter Valley Heights seemed to take control of the game over the Eagles leading by 5 points with 90 seconds remaining, but a pair of steals and lay-ups allowed Olpe to tie the game at the end of regulation.

Smith put the game on ice with 6 points in overtime going 4-for-4 from the free throw line, while notching 15 total points in the fourth and the extra period.

Smith finished with a game-high 27 points, while Shae Manley added 11 and Emma Toerber 10.

In the Mustangs first championship game since 2014 when they were in 1A, Valley Heights started slow as Central Plains worked out to an 8-1 lead before eventually taking an 8-3 lead after the first quarter.

The Mustangs played better offensively in the second quarter tallying 9 points total, but the Oilers received two big 3-pointers from sophomore Rachel Lamatsch to take a 20-12 lead into halftime.

In the third quarter Central Plains began to really take over as sophomore sensation Emily Ryan finally got going.

Ryan is the state’s leading scorer averaging 37 points per game, but had just four points in the first half.

She poured in 10 points in the quarter and finished with 21 points in the second half as she was able to do anything she wanted in the half.

Ryan finished with a game-high 25 points, as the Oilers claimed their fifth straight state title and picked up their 84th win in a row.

The Mustangs were led in scoring by Sam Vermetten who had 8 points, while the team’s leading scorer Kayla Smith at 19 points per game had just four points in the championship game.

Valley Heights finished off the season with an overall mark of 21-6, finished third in the Twin Valley League, and runner-up in the 2A State Tournament.

The Mustangs also send off three seniors; Smith, Shae Manley, and DeAndra Woodyard who have been key pieces to the success of the Valley Heights program the last four years.

©2018 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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