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Nemaha and Sabetha Girls - One Win From State
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
03/05/2021
Audio

The four best girls teams in the Big 7 League all met on Thursday night for the 3A Sub State semifinals in Sabetha.  All these teams have been to state in the last five years and been ranked during this season. It was the third meeting in both matchups.  

Nemaha Central 60, Jeff West 37

The #4 seed Jeff West led 7-1 before Nemaha Central took their first lead of the night 13-12 that sparked an 18-0 run and produced a 32-17 halftime advantage for the Thunder.  The Tigers never threatened as Nemaha made 16 of 23 free throws to maintain a double-digit advantage throughout the second half. 

Jeff West struggled to score the ball and ran into some foul problems before ending their season wit ha 13-8 record and denied a return trip to state. They will return all starters next season, including juniors Mellany Roenne and Kristin Biltoff who both scored 12 in the loss against Nemaha Central. 

Cassidy Corby scored 20 points and made 8-9 free throws while Ella Larkin had a huge double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds and Riley Rottinghaus added 11 as the Thunder completed a season sweep of Jeff West and improved to 21-1 on the season. They will have a chance to avenge their only loss of the season in the Sub State finals at 2PM on Saturday and look to advance to the state tournament for the fifth consecutive season. 

Sabetha 44, Royal Valley 41 in Overtime

The rubber match proved to be another exciting thriller between the two and three seeds with the home team eventually making 7 of 8 free throws in overtime to secure the win. The teams combined for 14 turnovers and only 6 total points in the first quarter and were tied at 13 at halftime. Royal Valley led 24-22 entering the fourth quarter but needed a turnaround shot in the lane from Mahpiya Irving with three seconds left to force overtime. 

Sabetha took a 33-32 lead with 1:35 remaining in the fourth quarter but missed two free throws in the final 30 seconds to put the game away. Melinna Schumann was 4-4 at the stripe in the extra session and also had a huge trey to finish with a game high 22 points. Leah Renyer added 13 and along with forward Nicole Stallbaumer, battled some foul trouble and played a lot of the final 12 minutes with four personals. The Bluejays improve to 20-2 on the season and look to get back to state where they last placed second in 2016. 

Royal Valley ends their year at 17-5 and Mahpiya Iving posted 20 points to surpass 1,100 for her prep career. Kennedy Bryan added 10 points and Halina Williamson chipped in nine while Wakiyan Irving set a new school record for assists. The Panthers went 3-9 at the charity line in the fourth quarter of a contest that neither team ever led by more than six points. 

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

Ella Larkin of Nemaha Central and Minnie Schumann from Sabetha 


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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