Friday, 20 April 2018
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Upset Minded Royal Valley Knocks Off Top Ranked Nemaha Central in 3A State Quarterfinal
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports

3A State in Hutchinson – Royal Valley 51, Nemaha Central 48

The third time was the charm and the last Big 7 League basketball team playing in the 2018 post season is the Royal Valley Lady Panthers.  Royal Valley had lost to Nemaha Central by 22 and 11 points earlier this season but they stayed close against the #1 ranked Thunder in the opening game of the 3A State Tournament in Hutchinson on Thursday.  And the longer the Panthers stayed in the game, the momentum shifted to Royal Valley and all the pressure fell to Nemaha Central.  Following as Sub-State Championship which included knocking off the #2 and #1 seeds, including a double-overtime thriller, the Panthers are at state for just their fourth time in school history and first since 2005, now the #7 seed is still dancing in Hutchinson following a 51-48 win for their first state basketball win in school history.    

Royal Valley trailed by as many as 19-8 in the second quarter, and had only led 5-2 until taking a 43-42 advantage and holding on down the stretch.  The Panthers were down 38-31 late in the third quarter when Tamo Thomas hit a long-long three-pointer that beat the buzzer and gave RV the momentum before a shot to start the fourth quarter pulled the Panthers within 38-36.  Thomas also hit two consecutive treys in the second quarter and added her fifth trifecta of the game in the fourth frame to finish with a game high 17 points. 

Alleigh Kramer nailed a triple to tie the score at 47 with just over a minute remaning, but Marlissa Jordan hit an open layup to retake the lead and Ashley Hammes made one of two foul shots with 30 seconds remaining to make it 49-48.  Kiikto Thomas made a free throw with 26 second left for a 50-48 Royal Valley advantage and the Thunder had two shots to tie after missing but getting a jump ball and then with 2.7 seconds left had Laura Macke at the foul-line, but she missed the first and intentionally missed the second, but stepped across the foul line.  Bella Thompson hit the first of a one-and-one freebie to make it 51-48 with 1.7 on the clock but missed the second and Nemaha Central’s last second heave fell way short. 

For the Thunder, who were fourth at the 3A State Tournament last year, they couldn’t overcome 25 turnovers and went just 2-10 free three-point land and a mere 8-20 at the free-throw line.  The Big 7 League champs end the season with a 21-3 record with Kramer and Jacy Dalinghaus each scoring 12 points and Macke held to 13 after scoring a total of 60 points in the previous two meetings against the Panthers this season.  Only Macke and Allison Rottinghaus will graduate from the Nemaha Central team.    

Royal Valley improves to 16-7 on the season and got 13 points and 13 rebounds from Mary Broxterman, who scored nine in the second half.  Jordan added nine points and Kiikto Thomas has seven points to accompany seven assists.  The Panthers ended the game with 20 turnovers, but only four in the second half and also struggled at the charity stripe (6-16), but made 7-16 behind the arc.  Royal Valley will not play #3 seed Hays-TMP who beat Wellsville 55-40 in the first round game.  That 3:00 PM tipoff Friday will be broadcast live on KNZA 103.9 FM.        


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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