Lady Warbirds claim 281 girls' championship

PHOTOS BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN Above: Wolsey-Wessington’s Leah Williams puts up a shot in the paint as Kerstynn Heim of Wessington Springs defends during the girls’ championship game of the 281 Conference Tournament on Thursday at Huron Arena. Below: James Valley Christian’s Alexa Goertz sandwiches between Sanborn Central/Woonsocket teammates Liz Boschee, left, and Kennadie Ochsner during the third-place girls’ game of the 281 Conference Tournament on Thursday at Huron Arena.

HURON — The Wolsey-Wessington Lady Warbirds used a 14-0 blitz over the third and fourth quarters to shake off a pesky Wessington Springs Lady Spartan squad and post a 56-38 win to clinch the 281 Conference girls’ basketball tournament at Huron Arena.

The win pushes the Lady ‘Birds’ record to 9-1 on the season, while Wessington Springs falls to 6-4.

When the teams met to open the season on Wolsey-Wessington’s home court, the Lady Warbirds took a 58-50 win in a game that was close throughout, and Thursday’s title tilt was shaping up much the same way.

Wessington Springs held a 4-3 lead with three minutes gone in the game, but the Lady Warbirds went on a 10-0 run, as Mya Boomsma completed a traditional three-point-play, Leah Williams scored buckets on back-to-back possessions - the second one a three-pointer and Mallory Miller scored on a short jumper in the lane to make it 13-4.

The first quarter ended with Wolsey-Wessington holding a 17-6 lead, as Miller hit a three to cap the period.

The Lady Warbirds had an effective offensive strategy - use the 6-foot, 4-inch Miller on the wing, where she could shoot if open, or, as she did throughout the first half, find a cutting teammate for an inside basket or draw the defense in and dish to Boomsma or Williams for a three.

The Spartans began chipping away in the second quarter, opening the stanza with a 6-0 run of their own, keyed by Avery Orth and Kirstie Munsen. Shots that hadn’t been falling for the Lady Spartans in the early going began to find the net and the Wolsey-Wessington took a six-point lead to the halftime break.

The Lady ‘Birds’ margin continued to see-saw between six and eight points in the early going of the third quarter, then Wessington Springs scored, got a stop and scored again to draw within four points, at 36-32 as the clock rolled past the three minute mark of the quarter.

And then Wolsey-Wessington hit the gas pedal. Boomsma drained three pointers on consecutive possessions - one from each wing - Miller scored on a baby hook from the baseline and when Williams hit a straight-on three pointer as time expired in the third quarter the Lady Warbirds held a 44-32 lead.

The surge continued into the fourth quarter, as Wolsey-Wessington ran off the first six points of the quarter and suddenly the four-point lead had exploded into double digits and when Williams hit a short shot in the lane with 4:50 to play, it made the score 52-32.

While Wolsey-Wessington scored two fewer points than in the teams’ December meeting, the Lady Warbirds defense held Wessington Springs to a dozen fewer points, forcing the Lady Spartans into 29% shooting in the game and without a field goal in the fourth quarter.

Miller led all scorers with 22 points and added eight rebounds for the Lady ‘Birds. Williams added 15 points and Boomsma checked in with 12 as the three-way attack proved too formidable for Wessington Springs.

Orth led the Lady Spartans with 14 points and also had eight rebounds, while Munsen chipped in 13 points.

Williams was selected as the 281 Conference Tournament scholarship winner.

Wessington Springs will play host to Andes Central/Dakota Christian on Tuesday, while Wolsey-Wessington will take on Class “A” Lakota Tech Saturday, as part of the Irene Classic.

Wessington Springs      6 20 32 38
Wolsey-Wessington     17 26  44 56

Wessington Springs (6-4): Carissa Scheel 0 4-4 4; Kate Havlik 1 0-0 3; Allysa Grohs 2 0-2 4; Kirstie Munsen 5 2-2 13; Avery Orth 4 5-8 14. Totals: 12 11-16 38.

Wolsey-Wessington (9-1): Leah Williams 6 1-3 15; Taylor Horn 1 0-0 2; Mya Boomsma 4 2-3 12; Mallory Miller 11 1-2 25; Payton Kemnitz 1 0-0 2. Totals: 23 4-8 56.

FG: WS - 12-42 29%; WW - 23-51 45%. 3-pt FG: WS - 3-16 (Havlik, Munsen, Orth); WW - 6-20 (Williams 2, Boomsma 2, Miller 2). Rebounds: WS - 31 (Orth 8); WW - 25 (Miller 8). Turnovers: WS - 9; WW - 9. Fouls: WS - 13; WW - 11.

Third place

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket 42, James Valley Christian 37
The fourth-seeded Sanborn Central/Woonsocket Blackhawks stifled the second-seeded James Valley Christian Lady Vikings for much of the teams’ game Thursday afternoon, taking an early lead and holding on for a 42-37 win in the third-place game of the girls’ 281 Conference tournament at Huron Arena.

The Blackhawks held a 21-14 lead after one half of play and maintained their edge throughout the third and most of the fourth quarter, as the Lady Vikings made a late run and got the lead down to four points, but couldn’t get over the hump and tie the score.

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket’s press gave JVC trouble in the early going and later, when the Lady Vikes successfully navigated the pressure, the Blackhawk defense forced them into 28% shooting from the field, and then SC/W made just enough free throws to get the win.

Liz Boschee scored 18 points and hauled down 12 rebounds to lead the Blackhawk effort.

Kaylie Robinson scored 13 points to lead JVC and Alexa Goertz claimed eight rebounds.

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket, now 6-3 on the season, will face Hitchcock-Tulare Saturday in Hitchcock, while the Lady Vikes, also 6-3, will play host to Ipswich on Saturday afternoon.

Sanborn Cent./Woon.    10 21 33 42
James Valley Christian    8 14 24 37

Sanborn Central/Woonsocket (6-3): Liz Boschee 7 4-8 18; Kennadie Ochsner 2 1-2 5; Kara Wormstadt 0 1-2 1; Kamryn Ochsner 2 1-3 5; Jaycee Baruth 3 0-0 6; Kali Hofer 1 0-0 3; Kailyn Eggleston 1 0-0 3; Ellie Evans 0 2-2 2. Totals: 16 9-17 42.

James Valley Christian (6-3): Kaylie Robinson 5 0-2 13; Lily Hofer 2 0-0 4; Alexa Goertz 3 1-6 7; Darlie Frandsen 2 1-2 7; Addison Bartholow 0 6-10 6. Totals: 12 8-20 37.

FG: SCW - 16-40 40%; JVC - 12-43 28%. 3-pt FG: SCW - 1-8 (Eggleston); JVC - 5-16 (Robinson 3, Frandsen 2). Rebounds: SCW - 36 (Boschee 12); JVC - 27 (Goertz 8). Turnovers: SCW - 16; JVC - 16. FoulsL SCW - 15; JVC - 12.

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