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Royal Valley Rolls Norton to Return to 3A Title Game
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
03/09/2019

Similiar to the opening round win against Eureka (56-36), the Royal Valley girls came out and punched their opponent in the mouth in Friday's state semifinal and rode the momentum of a 24-6 first half to a second straight Class 3A Championship game apperance.  The Panthers led 42-22 entering the fourth quarter and despite struggling to finish the game strong, never allowed Norton to get closer than eight points in a 53-44 victory.  

Norton started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and then pulled within 48-40 with just over a minute and a half to play.  That's when Mahpiya Irving fired a deep fade-away three, that nobody thought (but her) she should probably shoot, and hit it, to give the Panthers breathing room, stop the Bluejay momentum and allow Royal Valley fans to stop holding their breath.  The #6 seed Panthers also had missed seven fourth quarter free throws and had five of their 17 turnovers in the closing period.  

Four different players his shots for Royal Valley in the first quarter as they scored the first eight points of the game and held #2 seed Norton scoreless for more nearly five minutes as the Jays finished the first half making only 3-21 field goals.  Mary Broxterman was again huge inside, despite facing a pair of 6'2 defenders in the post.  Broxterman scored 26, after posting 25 in the opening round and added nine rebounds and connecting on 8 of 11 free throws.  Wakiyan Irving added nine points as did Kikto Thomas, who also hit two treys and added nine rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.  

Royal Valley shot 50 percent for the game and improved to 20-5 on the season and will face Cheney in the State Championship game at 4:00 PM on Saturday in Hutchinson with live coverage on KNZA 103.9 FM and www.mscsports.net.  #1 seed Cheney won their semifinal 60-48 over Nemaha Central.      


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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