LIBERAL, Mo. — The Northeast Viking girls held on to their two-point halftime lead and defeated St. Mary’s Colgan Panthers 40-33 in the third-place game at the Tony Dubray Classic on Saturday in Liberal, Missouri.
It was an emotional win for the Vikings, who were coming off a 41-39 loss to Galena in the semifinals from Friday night.
“After losing to Galena by two points on Friday, we were a little concerned about bouncing back against Colgan,” said Northeast head coach Scott Post. “It’s a really emotional win. It’s a big win for us and the girls. It provided us with a psychological hurdle to get over.”
Jaycie Polhlopek scored 16 points to lead the Vikings, while Autumn Walker and Madison Walker scored eight and seven points, respectively. Haley Robison had four points.
In the fourth quarter, Autumn and Madison both fouled out.
“We’ve had a hard time of keeping our starters on the floor,” Post said. “We had four players with four fouls at one point. Madison and Autumn were all over the floor tonight. Jaycie had only one point on Friday, but tonight she took control. We only had one starter left in the fourth quarter and it was Jaycie. She looked on another level than the other players on the floor at that point. Robinson was great for us too. She only had four points but the defense was all over the floor.”
Sydney Russell scored 10 points to lead the Panthers, while Emily Paterni had eight and Haydn Dawson scored five.
Aubri Piccini scored off a fast break to help the Panthers mount a comeback, bringing them to within four of the Vikings in the second quarter.
Autumn Walker scored from the post in response before Russell drew a shooting foul.
With under two minutes in the first half, the Vikings maintained a 17-12 lead, but Autumn Walker and Kelsea Choate each reached three personal fouls.
The Panthers soon trimmed their deficit to two points before halftime.
The Vikings only had two points in the entire second quarter.
“It was rough because we only two points in the second quarter,” Post said. “We went in (at halftime) and couldn’t help but think if we can hold on to the lead. But we had to calm a few players down due to foul trouble. We had to worry about being in good position and staying out of foul trouble.”
The Vikings came out strong in the second half, taking a six-point lead early in the third quarter before the Panthers came back.
Walker’s fourth personal sent Russell to the line where both of her shots cut the deficit to four.
But the Vikings hit a 3-pointer to stay in front.
Choate drew her fourth personal and Haydn Dawson scored off an inbound pass and Paterni soon made it a three-point deficit with less than a minute in the third quarter left.
A moving screen against the Vikings gave the ball back to the Panthers, but SMC couldn’t score. A Viking travel on the following possession with five seconds in third gave Colgan the ball, Cathy Farmer’s 3-pointer was no good the next trip down the floor.
Paterni’s free throws at the start of the fourth quarter made it a one point game.
Brittney Wyland hit a jumper in response to keep the Vikings ahead by three.
Polhlopek hit a 3-pointer to extend the Vikings’ advantage. She scored a turnaround shot on a transition made it an eight point lead.
Autumn Walker fouled out, sending Russell to the charity stripe where she hit one of two with less than five minutes in the game.
Madison Walker fouled out soon after and Marci VanBecelaere made one of two at the line.
With 3:40 left, the Vikings held on to the ball with a six-point lead. The Panthers got a steal, but Choate soon got the ball back and drew a foul.
Choate went one of two from the line to make it a seven point lead.
After a jump ball, the Panthers won possession back with two minutes left.
Polhlopek’s field goal made it a nine-point game.
Paterni’s foul sent Emily Watson to the line where her shot rattled off and the Panthers rebounded for a Colgan basket.
The Vikings ultimately held on for the win.
Panther boys take Tony Dubray Classic in overtime thriller
The St. Mary’s Colgan boys' basketball team won their sixth straight Tony Dubray Classic.
This time, they had to win it in overtime, 57-52, against a determined Northeast Viking squad.
Playing in Liberal, Missouri on Saturday night, the Panthers (7-3) stayed in front for most of the game, but the Vikings (5-2) didn’t go away. The Panthers only led by six points at the end of the first quarter and then by five in the second and third as the Vikings kept a safe distance before forcing overtime.
“There’s been a lot of close games, but this was one where the kids were making mistakes,” said Colgan head coach Wayne Cichon in his post game comments with 100.7 FM. “The nerves got to them. We’ve had some good games here. To win six in a row, oh boy, I’m just glad that we got through this because there were a lot of mistakes. Both teams made a lot of mistakes.”
With the clock winding down in the fourth quarter, Colgan’s Chase VanBecelaere passed it to Garrett Normand, who missed a turnaround jumper and a foul was called on Northeast with 13 seconds left on the rebound attempt.
Normand lost the ball off his feet on the ensuing inbounds pass, and with 10.6 seconds to go, the Vikings had possession.
Ryan Cedeno fouled to give possession to NHS, but the ensuing inbounds pass went off Northeast’s Ethan Snider to give the ball back to the Panthers for one final chance to win the game in regulation.
VanBecelaere’s look at a 3-pointer was not good at the other end to force overtime.
After knocking down a pair of free throws to break the tie, Cedeno recorded a steal on the fast break, which to a basket and a four-point lead for Colgan.
The Vikings had an answer, as Drew Mills responded with a 3-pointer to sing the momentum scales once more.
The game found itself all tied at 52 after Troy Howard hit an inside jumper for the Vikings.
Normand earned a steal with 18 seconds left and followed the big defensive play up by and even bigger play on offense, hitting the game-clenching 3-pointer off an assist by Simon Higginbotham.
The Panthers hit two free throws to put it out of reach.
Normand led the Panthers with 16 points, while Higginbotham had 10 and Zach Hizey scored six along with Josh Hayes.
For the Vikings, Howard had 19 points and Mills put up 15. Travinn Oliver scored six along with Snider, while Micah Howard had seven.