I-70 Conference shows out in Challenge #1

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Concordia senior Jacey Smith (with ball) tries to make something happen along the baseline in their first round matchup with Carrollton High School in the I-70/MRVCE Challenge, held at Santa Fe High School.
Rocco Scarcello/The Concordian

In the annual I-70/MRCH Challenge, four teams from the MRVC squared off against four I-70 Conference teams. When the dust settled, three of the four total championship-game teams (two girls, one boys) came from the I-70, as the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints won the boys tournament over Lexington High School, and Santa Fe High School Lady Chiefs defeated the SPLHS Saints in the girls tournament.


First round
(2) Lexington 52
(7) Concordia 36
A tough first matchup for the Concordia High School girls basketball team saw the ladies get off to a slow start against a stout Lexington High School Minutewomen defense en route to a 52-36 loss.

Six points were scored each quarter by the Lady Oís, but a good defensive performance saw them down just five, 17-12, at the half. Junior Kailey Ohrenberg found six points in the first half, while freshman Cate Cooper scored five.

Powerful offensive performances followed for Lexington in the remaining two quarters, as a 19-point third quarter and 16-point fourth essentially tucked the Orioles away.

Cooper would find 13 second-half points en route to finishing with a game-high 18 points. Ohrenberg would finish with 10, while senior Jacey Smith finished with five points, all in the second half.

Ohrenberg (eight), Cooper (six) and Smith (five) also led the team in rebounds, while Smith also collected five steals.

The Orioles would proceed on to the consolation bracket with the loss, while the Minutewomen advanced to the championship bracketís semifinal round with the victory.

(3) SPLHS 51
(6) Carrollton 50
By a random coincidence, both Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints basketball teams took on Carrollton High School in the first round of the I-70/MRVCE Challenge. While the boys didnít have much drama in their matchup, the Lady Saints took their game all the way to the wire, eventually pulling off the victory, 51-50.

The first quarter played to a 16-16 deadlock. That continued late into the second frame before the Saints finally pulled away a little bit, going ahead 31-27.

Tides turned in the third quarter, however, as all gains the Saints had made up to that point were negated, and the Saints went into the fourth quarter down 42-40.

The fourth quarter was the lowest-scoring period of the night (19 combined points), but the Saints were able to pick up 11 points to the Trojansí 8, pushing them ahead for a 51-50 victory.

Senior Chloe Fuhrman led the team with 21 points and tied for the lead in rebounds with seven. Senior Karson Troth finished with just two points, but also contributed seven rebounds and five assists. Senior Lynda Bennett picked up 15 points and eight assists, along with all three of her teamís 3-point field goals.

The Saints moved to the tournament semifinals with the slim victory, while the Trojans move to the consolation bracket for the next round.

Second round
(6) Carrollton 54
(7) Concordia 36
A big day for freshman Cate Cooper wasnít enough to get Concordia High School past the Carrollton High School girls basketball team, as Carrollton would win their second round matchup, 54-36.

The freshman Cooper ó like most of her team ó was held scoreless in the first quarter, as the Orioles would fall behind 18-4 after one quarter. However, Cooper would score all nine of her teamís points in the second quarter, although the deficit still stood at 29-13 at the half.

The Orioles would have their biggest quarter of the game with 18 points in the third, but the Trojans would pick up 14 of their own to minimize the damage. A rough fourth quarter, however, saw Cooper score all five of her teamís points to close out the match.

Cooper finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while fellow freshman Landry Yount scored six. Senior Jacey Smith went for three points and six rebounds, and senior Jacey Smith joined junior Kailey Ohrenberg in scoring two points each.

A seventh-place matchup was next on the docket for the Orioles after the loss, while Carrollton moved on to the fifth-place matchup.

(2) Lexington 39
(3) SPLHS 45
Another tight matchup found the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints girls basketball team in the semifinal round, but they once again emerged victorious, winning 45-39 over the Lexington High School Minutewomen.

The Minutes went ahead early, riding a 15-12 advantage into the second quarter, but tides turned in the second frame as the Saints moved ahead 22-20 before the halftime intermission.

A deadlocked, 15-15 third quarter moved the score to 37-35 before the fourth quarter, but both teams put up solid defensive quarters in the fourth. Fortunately for the Saints, they were too difficult for the Minutewomen to crack, leading to the 45-39 victory.

Senior Karsen Troth picked up team-highs in scoring (15 points) and rebounds (nine). Senior Chloe Fuhrman went for 10 points and seven rebounds. Seniors Jada Strickland and Kerstin Martens each picked up six assists.

Senior Lynda Bennett also grabbed six boards, but her night ended early with an undisclosed injury. The loss will be a tough one for the Lady Saints, but theyíre hoping to get her back at some point this season.

The Saints advanced to the championship matchup with the victory, while Lexington falls into the third-place matchup.

Third round
(7) Concordia 52
(8) Knob Noster 35
I-70/MRVCE Challenge woes would finally yield for Concordia, as the Lady Orioles picked up a victory in their third attempt when they downed the Knob Noster High School Lady Panthers, 52-35.

Slow starts were tucked to bed in this one for the Lady Oís, as freshman Cate Cooper (10 points) and junior Kailey Ohrenberg (five points) willed the Orioles to a 15-8 first quarter lead.

The second quarter diversified the scorebook a little more, as points from Ohrenberg (six points) and Cooper (two points) were also joined by baskets from sophomores Carys Brockman (three points) and Cassidy Warren (five points). The Oís would to a 31-21 halftime advantage.

A good second half defensive performance coupled with 21 second half points would put the game to bed, and the Orioles would win handily, 52-35.

Cooper would finish with 20 points in just 16 minutes while also collecting a team-high 9 rebounds. Ohrenberg ended with 11 points and five assists, while sophomore Lauren Fiene (four points), freshman Landry Yount (four), senior Alexis Borgstadt (three points), and senior Jacey Smith (two points) also contributed to the scoring column. Smith also collected eight rebounds, while Ohrenberg and Warren collected four apiece.

The win earned Concordia a seventh-place finish in the tournament.

(3) SPLHS 37
(5) Santa Fe 48
A tough matchup with a perennially-dangerous Santa Fe High School Lady Chiefs team in the I-70/MRVCE Challenge was too much for the Saint Paul Lutheran High School Saints, as the Lady Chiefs would win the championship with a 48-37 victory.

Things started slowly for the Saints, as they would go down 10-5 after one period. The second quarter saw a bit of a turnaround, though, as the Saints scored 12 to draw the deficit to 19-17.

It would be the best scoring half for the Saints, in addition to the last time the Lady Chiefs would be held under 14 points for a quarter. The impressive Lady Chiefs offense would be too much for the Saints, proving to be the difference in the 48-37 victory.

Senior Josey Burton went off for 22 points and 14 rebounds, putting up monster stats in the win. Sophomore Kara Hollingsworth went for seven points of her own, while junior Carrigan Smith put up five points and four rebounds and assists apiece.

The Saints were led by three senior Saints, as Karson Troth (five rebounds, three assists, three steals), Jada Strickland (nine rebounds), and Chloe Fuhrman (six rebounds, three assists) all finished with 10 points. Scoring wasnít as easy for the Lady Saints without senior Lynda Bennett (injury), but they will work towards revamping the lineups (and more specifically, the offense) in her absence.

The Lady Chiefs didnít start off with a favorable seeding, but overcame it to take home the tournament championship.

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