Lady Orioles capture third district crown in four years
Defense reigned supreme, with Concordia's defense coming through at key times, leading the Lady Orioles to a 29-26 victory over Wellington, claiming the Class 2, District 14 crown at Crest Ridge High School Friday.
"It was a good win for us and you could see the girls were relieved to get through this one and hold that trophy up again," CHS head coach Bill Hughes said.
Kamaran Dozler got the Lady Orioles off to a fast 9-2 start in the first quarter by connecting from three-point range and scoring five points.
Halli Brackman nailed a three-point basket, and the Lady Orioles held a 16-8 halftime lead.
"The girls did an excellent job of coming out and executing our game plan," Hughes said. "We did make a couple of adjustments defensively that gave Wellington some problems."
Hailee Langkrahr scored four points, and the Lady Orioles increased their lead in the third quarter, escaping with a 22-12 advantage.
"The fourth quarter didn't go quite as I had planned," Hughes said. "I thought if we could get a couple of buckets we could put it away.
"It seemed as if we just got too tight and didn't look to score, and when we did, we didn't convert."
The Lady Tigers, who scored right before the end of the third quarter, got baskets from Katie Kropp off an offensive rebound and a 15-foot jumper from Megan Beckemeyer to chop the CHS lead to 22-16.
But in a span of less than 30 seconds, the Lady Orioles answered back with a free throw in two chances by Dozler and two free throws by Katlin Murray.
Kropp hit two charities with just over 5 minutes remaining, and Seitz connected from 15 feet out, pulling the Lady Tigers within 25-20.
Laura Blankenship stopped the Lady Orioles' bleeding with a basket just under the four-minute mark.
Over the next three minutes, the Lady Orioles suffered a missed free throw, the front end of a one-and-one, and six turnovers, allowing WNHS to pull within three when Kropp nailed two free throws with 1:20 to play.
The Lady Tigers' Avery Bowling was whistled for a charging foul, but Blankenship misfired on each of her two free throws.
Kayla Thompson misfired from the field for WNHS.
Blankenship grabbed the rebound, was fouled by Kropp, her fifth personal foul. Blank-enship, this time, drained both charities with 11 seconds remaining.
Thus, Boling's last-second layup did nothing to diminish CHS's celebration. It only pulled the Lady Tigers to within three as the final buzzer sounded.
"Offensively, we really did a good job most of the night, we just had a hard time converting," Hughes said. "We had too many missed opportunities.
"Luckily we were able to get a basket and a couple free throws late to shore it up."
Dozler and Langkrahr each had six points to pace the Lady Orioles, winners of eight straight games and 19-9.
The Lady Tigers, who had beaten CHS two of three times previously this year, had nine points from Kropp.
Concordia 38, Lone Jack 31
"This was not a pretty game by any means," Hughes said. "It was an ugly game, and I'm just glad the girls were able to gut it out until the end."
Dozler dropped in a three-pointer and scored six first-quarter points, the Lady Orioles leading 8-5.
Rachel Radmacher scored six points, and the Lady Mules rebounded to tie the game, 17-17, by halftime.
Langkrahr scored four points in the third quarter, and the Lady Orioles inched ahead 25-24.
The Lady Orioles built a bit of a lead and hit enough free throws, seven of 10, in the final stanza to pull off the mild upset.
Langkrahr led the Lady Orioles down the stretch with seven points.
"Lone Jack caused us some problems getting to the basket, and when we did their length gave us more problems," Hughes said.
"We did not do a good job of sticking to the game plan offensively, and we played very passive. This led to a number of turnovers."
Langkrahr finished as the Lady Orioles' high scorer with 16 points. Dozler had eight points and Blankenship six.
Radmacher paced the Lady Mules, 12-13, with eight points. Veronica Hartwig added five fourth-quarter points and finished with eight.
Concordia, 19-9, plays Archie in the Class 2 sectional at Harrisonville High School at 7:15 tonight. The winner advances to the quarterfinal at the Independence Convention Center Saturday at 2:45 p.m., tangling with the winner of the North Platte/Maysville sectional, taking place tonight at Staley High School in North Kansas City.