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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Falcons soar to third Classic championship

  • Olathe South’s Kylee Kopatich broke a couple of records in the Falcons’ 51-48 Mid America Classic championship win over Manhattan Saturday night, completing a dominating tournament run for the sophomore.
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  • Olathe South’s Kylee Kopatich broke a couple of records in the Falcons’ 51-48 Mid America Classic championship win over Manhattan Saturday night, completing a dominating tournament run for the sophomore.
    Much like Friday night against McPherson, the Indians proved up to the challenge of keeping Kopatich from completely taking over the game, allowing her to only score nine first half points. Manhattan did trail 15-10 after the first quarter after South went on a 12-2 run, but responded with a 7-2 run in the second to close the gap to 21-17 at the half.
    Manhattan kept the Falcons to only 36.4 percent from the field on 8-of-22 shooting, though the Indians’ shooting luck wasn’t much better, going 7-of-23 from the field and missing both opportunities from the foul line.
    Kopatich came alive in the second half, single-handedly keeping Olathe South in front with a herculean performance, scoring 22 points. By comparison, the rest of the Falcons combined eight second half points.
    Manhattan made a push in the third, going on an 8-0 run that allowed them to take the lead 38-37 after the frame, but Kopatich brought the Falcons back with a 15-10 fourth quarter to get Olathe South it’s third Mid America Classic title.
    Olathe South (12-0) finished shooting 16-of-41 from the field and just 4-of-16 from behind the three point line. Manhattan was 18-of-47 from the field and 8-of-19 from distance. The teams had identical rebounding numbers, both pulling down 10 offensive boards and 20 defensive ones for a total of 30 rebounds. Olathe South turned the ball over fewer times, winning that battle 8-11.
    “It feels good,” Olathe South coach Steve Ingram said of his championship win. “Any time you win it feels good, especially with games like this and games like (Friday) night against McPherson.”
    Kopatich’s 31 points broke the 1998 record for a sophomore in one game in the Mid America Classic held by former Moundridge standout Laurie Koehn. Her 74 points over the three days of the tournament broke former McPherson High star Stacey Becker’s 1999 record for a sophomore of 67 points. The performance was enough to earn Kopatich a slot on the Mid America Classic All-Tournament team.
    Riley White was the only other Falcon in double digits with 11 points.
    Caroline Ballard led Manhattan with 13 points, followed by All-Tournament selection Darby Price’s 12. Kristen Thompson had 10 for the Indians (10-3).
    Wichita Southeast 56
    Dodge City 45
    Wichita Southeast won their third game of the year Saturday to claim seventh place in the Mid America Classic with a 56-45 victory over Dodge City.
    The Buffaloes played inspired basketball early, holding the Lady Demons to only five first quarter points, while racing out to 14 of their own. A 16-12 second quarter followed, where Southeast kept up the defensive pressure, forcing Dodge City to take bad shots in an attempt to get anything going offensively. The Buffaloes kept the advantage at halftime, though, 30-17.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Lady Demons were kept to 5-of-32 from the field in the first half, shooting 2-of-16 from behind the three-point arc. Southeast was 12-of-24 from the field, not taking any three-point shots in the half.
    Wichita Southeast (3-9) did just enough in the third quarter to keep the lead, winning the frame 8-7, while Dodge City (2-9) kicked in gear in the fourth, scoring 20 points in the final frame. It wasn’t enough to overcome the Buffalo lead, however, as the final buzzer sounded.
    Cheyenne Bullock lead three Buffaloes in double-digits with 16 points and 14 rebounds for the double-double. Jazmine Hardwell had 12 and Moriah Plowden added 11.
    Chandra Sain, just a day off an inspired performance against Hays, led the Indians with 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting, all from behind the three-point arc. Katrina Roenfeldt added 11 for the Lady Demons.
    Valley Center 54
    Hays 34
    Hays only managed to shoot 24 percent from the floor for the game in a 54-34 drubbing at the hands of Valley Center in the fifth place game Saturday at the Mid America Classic.
    The Hornets cruised to an early 14-8 lead, with the Valley Center defense keeping Hays to only eight points in each of the first, second and third quarters.
    The Hornets had a 31-16 lead at the half behind 11-of-24 shooting from the field and 5-of-9 shooting from the foul line. Hays, meanwhile, was cold from the floor, managing only 5-of-21 from the field, 2-of-4 from behind the three point arc.
    The Indians’ shooting woes continued in the second half, going only 6-of-25 from the field and 0-of-6 from distance.
    Valley Center’s shooting percentage went down in the half as the substitutes were worked, in but the Hornets still finished 20-of-49 from the field and 9-of-20 from the charity stripe.
    Hays finished 11-of-46 from the field, 2-of-10 from three point range. Turnovers were a big reason the Indians couldn’t get anything going, as they coughed it up 20 times resulting in 24 Valley Center points.

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