Lady Chiefs return to Challenge finals
LEXINGTON -- The Santa Fe girls' basketball team remained undefeated Wednesday, but it was a struggle.
In a rematch of the I-70/MRVC East Challenge finals of a year ago, the Lady Chiefs had to rally from seven points down during the fourth quarter to salvage a 59-50 decision over Higginsville in the semifinal round Wednesday at Lexington.
After trailing by four points when the first quarter ended, the Lady Huskers used a 30-19 run during the middle two frames as senior Taylor Golden scored nine points.
However, Higginsville couldn't hang on and the Lady Chiefs closed with a 20-4 spree. One of the main differences was free throws: Santa Fe made seven of 17 attempts while the Lady Huskers had only two shots from the stripe, making neither.
Higginsville (3-9) got 14 points from sophomore Rachel Rumsey.
Junior Sadie Limback had a 27-point performance for the Lady Chiefs (9-0), with sophomore Josey Burton adding 15 points.
Santa Fe will meet Wellington-Napoleon, a 37-18 winner over Lexington, for the championship Saturday.
Sturgeon 51, Sweet Springs 26
NEW FRANKLIN -- Sturgeon rolled to a 29-12 halftime lead Wednesday and disposed of Sweet Springs, 51-26, in the consolation semifinals of the New Franklin Tournament.
Sophomore Camyron Orf scored a game-high 19 points for the Lady Bulldogs (3-6), with sophomore Emma Bright contributing 14 points.
Senior Tori Hinton's 10 points led the Lady Greyhounds (5-5), who play for the consolation trophy Friday against Fayette.
Boonville 73, Marshall 66
Boonville took an early lead and held off the challenges of the Marshall boys' basketball team Thursday for a 73-66 NCMC road win.
The Pirates went into halftime with a five-point lead, but couldn't shake the stubborn Owls -- who got a lift off the bench from junior forward Gage Lewis, playing in his first game of the season after being unavailable during the first semester. Lewis tallied 11 of his team-high 17 points during the fourth quarter, but Boonville was efficient at the free-throw line -- sinking 13 of 16 attempts -- to preserve the victory.
Senior Riley Lang led all scorers with 29 points and senior Alec Adair added 20 for the Pirates (10-2, 4-2 NCMC).
Marshall (2-9, 0-4) got 13 points from sophomore Jaylen Varner and a dozen each from senior Chase Kateman and freshman Jace Lance. The Owls don't play again until Jan. 18, when they host Oak Grove.
Wellington 76, Santa Fe 66
LEXINGTON -- A rematch of the I-70 Conference Tournament championship turned out the same Thursday during the semifinal round of the I-70/MRVC East Challenge at Lexington, with Wellington-Napoleon defeating Santa Fe, 76-66.
With junior Andrew Edwards scoring 28 of his game-high 36 points, the Chiefs led by three points going into the fourth quarter. However, the Tigers got a pair of three-pointers and eight straight free throws from junior Jordon Hill to out-score Santa Fe 28-15 down the stretch.
Hill wound up with 22 points and senior Duncan Hughes topped Wellington (9-1) with 34 points.
Senior Dobber Burton tallied 10 points for the Chiefs (6-3), who will play St. Paul -- which fell to Higginsville, 53-48 -- for third place Friday.
Sweet Springs 51, Westran 50
NEW FRANKLIN -- Senior Lucas Eberting's 23 points Wednesday led Sweet Springs to a come-from-behind 51-50 win over Westran in the consolation semifinal round of the New Franklin Tournament.
The Hornets were seven points ahead entering the fourth quarter, but Eberting hit three shots from the field -- as many as the opposing team -- during the Greyhounds' 12-6 stretch run.
Westran (1-7) were paced by senior Austin Dale with 17 points.
Junior Zach Malter had 16 points for Sweet Springs (6-4), which takes on Prairie Home for the consolation trophy Friday.
Contact Chris Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org