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Top 10 High School Basketball Games of 2019-20 Season: No. 3
By Jonny Kane and Jake Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports

Year in and year out we are blessed in Northeast Kansas with some of the best basketball around the state in some the best leagues around the state.

The 2019-20 season was no different with big upsets, close games and buzzer beaters throughout ending with seven area teams punching their tickets to their respective state tournaments.

With the ending of high school sports for the year and nothing taking place nationally we have decided to count down our top 10 high school basketball games from the 2019-20 season.

Yesterday we rolled along our top five countdown with No. 4 and today we continue our countdown by looking at our No. 3 game of the year while the rest of the top five will be released throughout this week.

No. 3: March 8 Jeff West Girls vs. Riley County 

In one of the biggest upsets of the season the Jeff West girls used a stifling defense and clutch free throw shooting to punch their ticket to the 3A State Tournament with a 49-38 win over Riley County. 

Riley County came in with an unblemished record of 22-0, as the one seed in the Royal Valley sub state and the second ranked team in all of class 3A. However, the Falcons had yet to play a team like the second seed Jeff West Tigers. A team that puts an emphasis on defense, a focus on holding teams well under their season average of points and a team that loves to slow the game down.

Riley County jumped out early scoring the game's first four points, and that four point lead would be their largest and only lead of the game. Jeff West would tie the game up at four, then close the first quarter on a 10-3 run to lead 14-7 led by Senior Heather Kahler who scored ten. In the second, the Falcons would start to find some rhythm with Junior Ames Burton who dropped eight in the quarter to pull the Falcons back within five at the halftime break as the Tigers led 24-19. In the third quarter, scoring was scarce for Jeff West with just one field goal by Sophomore Phiefer Peck and two free throws from Sophomore Kristin Biltoft. However, seventh year coach John Malloy would see his team step up defensively as they have so many times this season.

The Tigers allowed just two free throws in the third frame while forcing five Riley County turnovers. As the fourth quarter started, Falcon head coach Harold Oliver would begin to extend the game by having his team foul Jeff West at the seven minute mark of the final stanza, in part due to the Tigers slowing the game down. Trailing by nine at the time, it seemed the Falcons would hope for the Tigers to miss their foul shots, but that would not be the case in this one. Riley County would get the game as close as five points twice in the final four minutes, but the Tigers, led by Kristen Biltoft, salted the game away from the foul line. Jeff West shot an astounding twenty-seven foul shots in the quarter, making nineteen of them. (Kristen) Biltoft alone went 10/12 from the line for the Tigers as Jeff West for the game went 25/35 from the stripe, matching their season average of 71%.

©2020 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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