SPVA girls hit court

Chase County's Valeria Cervantes (44) guards Shania Metcalf of Perkins County in the second quarter of their first-round SPVA Conference Tournament game at North Platte Community College on Tuesday. Chase County advanced with a 37-36 overtime victory over the Lady Plainsmen and will play top-seeded Hershey on Friday. Perkins County will face Maxwell in the fifth-place game on Saturday.

Day two of the SPVA tournament reconvened at McDonald-Belton Gymnasium on Tuesday, as the girl’s side of the bracket began play. The No. 4-5 seeds, Perkins County and Chase County, met for the second time in less than a week in the first contest while No. 3-seed Sutherland played No. 6-seed Maxwell in the nightcap.

Chase County and Perkins County went in to overtime with the Lady Longhorns winning 37-36, avenging their loss from last weekend. Sutherland got up early on the Maxwell Lady Wildcats and cruised to a 74-28 victory in the final game of the night.

There was only one basket made in the overtime period between Chase County and Perkins County. All the other points came from the free throw line.

Perkins County won the battle at the free throw line in OT, but lost the war on a 12-foot shot in the lane by Chase County’s Bridget Langin with 2 minutes, 44 seconds to go. The Lady Plainsmen were 4-of-8 from the line in OT, while the Lady Longhorns struggled, shooting only 3-of-11 in the same span and 7-of-16 for the game.

“I just found out,” said Chase County coach Nancy Sorensen when presented with her team’s free throw shooting in the final quarter. “Thank God we didn’t [need them]. It was in his hands, because we could have sure used everyone of them.”

The overtime period began with both Morgan Fisher and Valeria Cervantes hitting one-of-two free throws, before Langin hit her basket for a 36-32 Lady Longhorns lead.

Perkins County’s Brandie Ross knocked down two free throws with 2:33 remaining and with 36.1 seconds to go, Mariah Curtis hit one-of-two throws to cut the lead to 36-35. Each team would add one more free throw in the final seconds for the final score.

Bethany Sorensen led the scoring for Chase County, hitting for 12 points in the game.

“She took her shots from where she likes to,” said Sorensen. “She likes to do a little dribble drive and shoot from the elbow and she was able to get that off tonight.

“She’s been working on getting the elbow in. That was a good night for her.”

Perkins County’s Shania Metcalf was the only Lady Plainsmen in double figures with 10, but coach Deanne Bishop said the play of Curtis off the bench in the second half added a lift.

“I was especially pleased with the play of Mariah Curtis a sophomore,” Bishop said. “She came off the bench, with little varsity action, and gave us the spark that we needed when offensively we were looking slow and sluggish.

“She played up-tempo and found a way to get a couple rebounds. She was able to create some turnovers and then capitalize on the other end for us.”

Both teams got off to a slow start in quarter one, with Chase County holding a slim 7-5 lead. The pace slowed even more in the second quarter with the Lady Longhorns holding a 4-2 advantage for an 11-7 lead at half.

“I’ll have to go back and do the stats, but that’s about as poor as we’ve shot in a half the entire season,” Bishop said. “Give Chase County credit though, they were there getting rebounds so we wouldn’t have the second-chance looks.”

Both teams found success with the press at times, but found it difficult to have it pay dividends at the offensive end.

“The biggest thing we need to do is execute — not get flustered and turn it over ourselves,” Sorensen said. “Their press gave us problems at times. I’m just glad they were able to settle down and take care of it for the long haul.”

Chase County now will play Hershey in a semifinal match-up on Friday.

Chase County (4-12) 7 4 9 12 (5) — 37

Perkins County (7-7) 5 2 10 15 (4) — 36

CC stats: (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Morgan Fisher 1, 1, 0/1, 6; Kristen Jussel 0, 0, 0/2, 0; Bethany Sorensen 6, 0, 0/2, 12; Kaycee Bubak 1, 0/ 0/0, 2; Paige Spady 2, 0, 3/4, 7; Bridget Langin 2, 0, 1/2, 5; Valeria Cervantes 1, 0, 3/5, 5.

PC stats: Jessi Hoffert 0, 2, 0/1, 6; Mariah Curtis 3, 0, 2/4, 8; Michi Prante 2, 0, 4/6, 8; Matisyn Humphrey 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Brandie Ross 0, 0, 2/2, 2; Shania Metcalf 3, 0, 4/6, 10.

Lady Sailors move on

Three Lady Sailors scored in double figures in downing Maxwell 74-28 in the second game of the evening, and now take on St. Pat’s in a semi-final game on Friday. Kaley Stokey led the Lady Sailors with 15 points, while Sam Staggs added 14 and Joli Hopping chipped in 10 points. Sam Kennedy just missed double figures with nine points.

“All season it’s been that way,” Sutherland coach Jason Gunderson said of his scoring leaders. “We’ve had four girls, at any time, that can get double digits.”

Sutherland got out early, taking and 11-0 lead at the 5:45-mark of the first quarter, before Maxwell’s Anna Crane hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to get the Lady Wildcats on the board.

Hopping hit a 10-foot jumper to kick-start the Lady Sailors offense and then Jalyne Schuster and Stokey each knocked down 18-footers from the left wing.

Kennedy drove to the basket, scored and was fouled, and then Stokey hit her second shot after a steal as she drove for a layup.

Crane tried to keep the Lady Wildcats in the game early, as she scored nine of her 11 points in the opening quarter.

“She’s the backbone of our team,” said Maxwell coach Mitch Armour. “She kept trying to make things happen.

“Her shot really wasn’t falling tonight, but she tried to make things happen in other areas, like passing and defense.”

The teams traded baskets the remainder of the first quarter, with the Lady Sailors taking a 22-10 lead into quarter two.

“We’ve been kind of cold shooting the last couple of games,” Gunderson said. “We came out and knocked down some outside shots. I was happy to see us do that.”

Armour said the hot-shooting Lady Sailors made it difficult for any kind of a comeback.

“It’s hard to play defense when [Sutherland] is shooting such a high percentage,” said Armour. “We tried to get something going, but turned around and they were already up 15.

“I thought our girls really hung in there. We really got some good looks later down the road in the game. The quickness of Sutherland and their on-spot shooting really killed us tonight. They had a really good shooting night.”

The Lady Sailors outscored Maxwell 20-8 in the third, as Sutherland began to clear it’s bench near the end of the quarter. Each team totaled four points in the fourth quarter.

Gunderson said his team now looks forward to playing St. Pat’s on Friday in a semifinal game.

“I hope it’s going to be a good game,” Gunderson said. “We lost to St. Pat’s early in the season. We got in foul trouble and the girls really want to see St. Pat’s again and show we can play with them.”

Sutherland (11-3) .............................22 26 20 4 — 74

Maxwell (3-10)..........................10 6 8 4 — 28

Sutherland stats (2 pt, 3 pt, ft, pts) Sam Kennedy 4, 0, 1/2, 9; Kayla Bush 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Joli Hoping 1, 2, 2/2, 10; Kaley Stokey 5, 1, 2/3, 15; Kristen Nelson 3, 0, 0/0, 6; Jalyne Schuster 1, 2, 0/2, 8; Sam Staggs 5, 0, 4/4, 14; Allison Stewart 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Tawnie McConnell 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Mackenzie White 1, 0, 0/0, 2.

Maxwell stats: Anna Crane 5, 0, 1/2, 11; Bailee Keller 2, 0, 0/0, 4; Kayla Stenger 0, 1, 2/2, 5; Josie Cox 2, 0, 2/4, 6; Alex Gurciullo 1, 0, 0/0, 2; Tracy Blake 0, 0, 0/2, 0.

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