Saturday, 18 January 2020
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***BREAKING NEWS***    High School Basketball Postponements for Jan. 17    ***
Local Sports News
Royal Valley Girls - Class 3A State Basketball Champions
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

Two years ago, the Royal Valley girls basketball program had never won a state tournament game.  But after breaking through and making a cinderella run to finish as state runner-up in 2018, the Panthers made history on Saturday and brought back a 3A Championship trophy following a thrilling 55-52 overtime victory against Cheney.  This year as the #6 seed, Royal Valley cruised past #3 Eureka 56-36, then dominated #2 Norton 53-44 in the semifinals before rallying against #1 Cheney from 12 points down to force overtime and then get a three-point-basket from Mahpiya Irving with 27 seconds left to cap another magical run!

The Panthers played with amazing poise and confidence while showcasing unbelievable heart and determination to finish the season 21-5. In two years as Head Coach, Kyle Porter has directed Royal Valley to 38 wins, including five in the state tournament all against higher seeded teams, and a couple of those in overtime. 

Against Cheney, Royal Valley started the game strong and led 12-7 after one quarter.  However, the Panthers struggled making shots (2-14), especially behind the arc (1-9) in the second period as the Cardinals posted a 17-7 frame.  Cheney pushed the advantage to 31-19 a couple minutes into the second half and still led by seven heading into the fourth stanza.  Mahpiya Irving had a steal and assist to Wakiyan Irving to pull the Panthers within four and then hit a trey with 3:10 remaining to pull within 43-42. Cheney made only one shot in the fourth quarter and missed four free throws as RV got a basket from Mary Broxterman to tie the score at 44 and another from Wakiyan with 1:16 remaining to knot the score at 46.  Cheney got three shots off in the final 10 seconds but none went in as the game went to overtime. 

Broxterman delivered a three-point-play to give the Panthers momentum and Emily Albright hit a bucket to to take the lead before two free throws by Cheney again tied the score at 52 with 1:08 to play.  The Panthers controlled the ball much of the overtime before Mahpiya drilled the  game-winning triple and Cheney couldn't get a good look before time expired.  The Cardinals finished the season 23-3 and had 19 turnovers in the game.  Albright helped shut down sophomore Kylee Sheer, who had broke a state tourney record and already posted 63 points in the first two state games, and scored 15 points on 4-11 shooting.  Cheney only has two seniors on their roster as Layne Needham scored 14 points and Destinee O'shea added 10.    

Royal Valley was led by MVP Mary Broxterman who posted 25 points and 14 rebounds and finished with 76 points in the three state tourney games and was a combined 18 of 23 from the charity stripe.  Mahpiya added 12 points including three treys and the Panthers were 12-15 from the foul line.  Albright had four of her five rebounds on the offensive end while Kikto Thomas had another great all around game with six points to go along with three rebounds, steals, assists and blocks.  Menon Irving hit one of just two three-pointers in 13 attempts during the first half.                

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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