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Lady T-Birds fixing little things in win over Augusta

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
Circle senior Kimalee Cook (30) dribbles against Augusta's Maycee Anderson (13) on Thursday, Feb. 18 at Circle High School. The senior had 20 points in the 50-33 win over Circle.

TOWANDA, KANSAS—It’s all about fine tuning for teams as they head into the 2021 KSHSAA State Playoffs. 

For the Circle Lady Thunderbirds, it’s about fixing the little things and they worked on that in their 50-33 win over cross-county rival, Augusta on Thursday night. 

“We need to work on blocking out and rebounding,” Circle Head Coach Brian Henry said. “We have them too many extra opportunities tonight.”

The game was originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday night but the frigid temperatures and inclement weather forced this one and numerous around the state to find new dates to play. 

“It’s been a challenge for us, but it’s been a challenge for everybody, too,” Henry said.

It wasn’t the perfect win you’d hope but with every cancelation, postponement and delay, a win is something you’ll take at this point of the season. Circle has dealt with their share of schedule changes and they were getting accustomed to those changes.

“It’s tough when you go five days without a practice,” Henry said. “you get a little stagnant. You have to work and get over those at this point in the season.” 

The Lady Thunderbirds (12-4) used a 15-0 run to end the first half and stop any real hope of a comeback. 

Circle was given a little scare when Augusta scored five quick points to start the second quarter after they were held scoreless in the first. The Lady T-Birds struggled to shoot the ball and Augusta took advantage of that. However, Circle turned on the full court press and limited Augusta sharpshooter Ella Puckett to only three points on the night. 

Circle is in the fight for the top seed in their sub-state, which start on Feb. 27. Currently, they own a half game lead over Andale heading into the weekend. The game tomorrow, on Friday night, is up in the air due to COVID issues within El Dorado girls.

A game at McPherson on Friday, Feb. 26 could decide the regional. 

“We got to do a good job these last few games,” Henry said. “We’ll just let the chips fall where they may.

“Whether we play on our court or their court, Andale is going to be a tough sub-state if we get there.”

Senior Cook had 20 points to lead Circle and Sydney Scot led Augusta with 11 points, with 10 of those coming in the second half. 

As it has been for most of the season, the Circle defense rose to the challenge, holding Augusta (4-13)  to only 28.9 percent shooting on the night. They kept them to only 2 of 11 from the three-point line.

Augusta hosts Winfield tomorrow night in their homecoming and Circle is off until Tuesday, when they get their shot at Winfield. That will be senior night for these successful seniors.

“It’s going to be hard to see this group leave,” Henry said. “They’ve been such a big part of our program over the last four years.”

4A #8 Circle 50, Augusta 33

Augusta—0;5;10;18—33

Circle—4;15;16;15—50

AUG: Scott 4 (0) 4-5 12, Williams 2 (1) 2-2 9, Peterson 1 (1)  0-1 5, Puckett 0 (1) 0-0 3, Anderson 1 (0) 0-2 2, Wells 1 (0) 0-0 2. TOTALS: 9 (3) 6-10 33.

CIRCLE: Cook 2 (4) 4-7 20, Chase 4 (1) 3-4 14, Claycamp 1 (0) 2-4 4, Coble 0 (1) 1-2 4, White 0 (0) 3-3 3, Michaelis 0 (0) 2-2 2, Thornton 0 (0) 2-2 2, Shaults 0 (0) 1-2 1. TOTALS: 7 (5) 18-27 50.

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.