Lady Beavers make history with sub-state hoops title

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SCHS seniors Paige Winderlin (left) and Kiana Yager raise the sub-state championship plaque following Saturday’s win over Holcomb.

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SCHS seniors Paige Winderlin (left) and Kiana Yager raise the sub-state championship plaque following Saturday’s win over Holcomb.

By Rod Haxton, editor
Scott City head coach Sarah McCormick wasn’t surprised to see a seven point lead fade away during a three minute span late in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s sub-state championship game.
“That’s who we are,” said McCormick, who has seen that script written all too often by her Lady Beavers during the season.
What wasn’t part of the script was having a freshman hit the biggest free throw of her career - and perhaps in SCHS girl’s basketball history.
Madison Shapland drained the first of two free throws with 20.3 seconds remaining and Macie Price added two more charity tosses at the 5.1 second mark to give the Lady Beavers (13-9) a history-making 45-42 win over Holcomb in the Class 4A-Division II sub-state title game on the home floor.
The win sends the SCHS girls to the state basketball tournament for the first time in school history.
The magnitude of the moment wasn’t lost on the girls who fell into a celebration pile on the court immediately afterwards and who shared hugs and tears as they accepted their championship plaque. This was a new experience for a program that hadn’t had a winning season since 2009-10 and had won just 30 games over the past six seasons.
“This is amazing,” said an elated Shapland as the post-game celebration continued for about 20 minutes. “We believe in ourselves and each other.”
A key stretch in the game began late in the third period with Scott City trailing 33-31.
Junior center Emily Smith tied the game with a rebound and putback that ignited an 11-2 scoring run during a 5:04 span. Scott City scored seven unanswered points in the fourth quarter that included a three-point basket by junior guard Bailey Latta, a steal-and-layup by Price and two charity tosses by Latta that put the Beavers on top, 42-35, with 3:57 remaining.
During the next three minutes, Holcomb chipped away at the lead with seven consecutive points of their own - five at the charity stripe - that tied the game 42-42 with 57.7 seconds to play.
The Lady Beavers are the No. 5 seed and will face Burlington (17-5) in the opening round of the state tournament. Tipoff is Thursday at 8:15 p.m. at White Auditorium, Emporia.

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