It became apparent early on that the Heights Falcons would not let the Lady Trojans claim victory too easily over them Thursday night.
The Trojans managed to hold on, however, and defeat the Falcons 45-36, eliminating the Falcons from sub-state playoffs. The Trojans travel to Kapaun on Saturday to play another game.
“It was a good win,” Trojan head coach Max Hamblin said. “We played well. We didn’t let their pressure get to us. We made some big buckets. Maddie (Routhier) made a lot of threes. I thought we handled everything pretty well as a team.”
However, the Trojans found it hard to pull to far ahead of the Falcons early on. Even with a quick basket by junior Katelyn Day, followed by a three-pointer from Routhier, the Trojans only led the Falcons 16-12 at the end of the first quarter.
Even in the second quarter, the Trojans still found some difficulties pulling ahead of the Falcons. By halftime, the score was 27-23, with the Trojans still in the lead.
With these scores a little close for comfort, junior Jaylyn Agnew was a bit nervous.
“I knew if we could calm down and take care of the ball, then we’d be okay,” she said.
The second half proved to be better for the Trojans. They kept their lead and ended the third quarter leading by eight, 36-28.
In the final quarter, the Trojans only scored a handful of points, including four free throws landed by Agnew. However, they managed to play strongly on defense, which prevented the Falcons from catching up and ultimately led to the Trojan victory of 45-36.
Routhier led the Trojans on points, scoring 15, all of which were from 3-pointers. Agnew came in second, scoring 14, while junior Lexi Tilson scored eight. Day scored four and juniors Riley Messina and Hayley Meisch each added two.
Agnew said the biggest problem her team faced came from Heights being a physical team.
“We’re not used to that physicality,” she said. “We did all right, though. We could have taken care of the ball a little more and rebound better.”
Hamblin gave the Falcons credit for being a good team and said his team took that into consideration while playing them.
“They’re a good team,” Hamblin said. “We knew they’re a good team. It came down to us handling their pressure and I thought we did a pretty good job of doing that.”
Next, the Trojans will head to Kapaun for another round of sub-state basketball. It’s all that separates them from traveling to a state game next week.
“They’ve got some good players we gotta stop,” Hamblin said. “They’re a quality team… We’re expecting to go over there and play real well and give them a good shot and get past that and go on to state.”
Agnew is ready to face Kapaun. She joked the team, like the Wichita State Shockers, will play angry against Kapaun.
“We’re ready to play Kapaun on Saturday,” Agnew said. “We’ll give them our best shot.”