Thursday, 18 April 2019
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Holton Girls and Royal Valley Boys Prevail in Big 7 County Rivalry
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

It was a Jackson County Big 7 matchup on Tuesday night in Holton with a huge crowd on hand to see a double-overtime girls thriller in the teams third game of the season.

GIRLS = Holton 61, Royal Valley 59 in two overtimes

It sure looked like the Royal Valley girls would snap a long streak of more than 35 losses and beat beat their rival Holton for the first time since 2002 with a 12-point lead in the second half and holding a four-point late in the final minute of regulation and overtime.  Yet, somehow, the relentless Lady Wildcats came up with big shots, clutch steals and key rebounds in the wanning seconds of each period to pull off the win and improve to 3-0 on the season.  

Royal Valley led 27-22 at halftime, thanks to Mahpiya Irving erupting for 14 points including four treys in the second stanza.  After a quick 7-0 start to the third period, the Panthers stretched the lead to 34-22.  The Panthers still led by nine entering the fourth quarter but seven points from Sarah Holaday pulled Holton within 44-40 in the final two minutes.  Wakiyan Irving hit to free throws to put Royal  Valley back up 46-40  but Holton scored the next seven points in a flurry including a pair of free throws by Tabor Barta with 36 seconds left and a basket by Danika Hickman with 10 ticks remaining that gave the Cats their first lead (47-46) since midway through the second stanza.  With top scorers Mary Broxterman and Mahpiya Irving fouled out late, Kikto Thomas drove the lenght of the court and drew a foul but made only the second of two free throws to send the game to overtime.  

Four foul shots by Wakiyan again put Royal Valley in the drivers seat with a 51-47 lead but Danika Hickman hit a clutch shot with 12 seconds left and then after a Panther free throw, Barta nailed a guarded three-pointer at the top of the key to send the game to a second extra session tied at 54.  With a couple more free throws by Thomas and Wakiyan, Royal Valley again maintained a 59-56 advantage with 34 seconds to play.  Barta hit a baseline jumper and after two missed free throws by the Panthers with 13 second left, Holaday had a stickback and converted the three-point play to give Holton the 61-59 lead with four seconds left to ultimetly earn the victory.  

Saydee Tanking had 19 points for the Cats while Holaday finished with 13 and Barta had 10.  Royal Valley got 17 points from Mahpiya Irving and Mary Broxterman added 16 before both fouled out in the fourth quarter.  Wakiyan Irving was 8-8 from the foul-line and chipped in 12 points while Thomas had nine for the Panthers (1-2).   

BOYS = Royal Valley 56, Holton 38

Trailing 19-17 at halftime, Royal Valley went to a zone defense and forced nine turnovers while outscoring Holton 24-4 in the third quarter to take control of the game.  Pak Hale had all 13 of his points during the third period run including a couple treys, while Nachs Wahwassuck added 11 points in the Panthers first win of the season.  Royal Valley also hit 12 of 15 from the foul-line.  

Holton had 12 players score, but nobody had more than four points, except Noah Woltje, who hit two late baskets to finish with seven points.  The Wildcats had 22 turnovers and are now 1-2 on the season.  

Citizens State Bank and Trust Company of Hiawatha "Players to Bank On:"

Tabor Barta of Holton and Pak Hale of Royal Valley

©2019 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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