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Kansas State DT Clinkscales faces additional charge -12/16/2014, 9:27 AM

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KBCA prep basketball rankings, Dec. 14 -12/15/2014, 10:42 AM

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Friday's area prep baskeball boxscores -12/13/2014, 6:13 PM

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Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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SPOTLIGHT
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Palco girls in slump after hot start; Roosters fall to Cheylin

Published on -1/27/2013, 7:07 PM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

PALCO -- Palco senior guard Kali Newell said her basketball team seems completely different than what it was at the beginning of the season.

The Roosters started the season 4-0 and won six of their first seven games, but since Jan. 11, they have dropped four of their past five, including a 59-58 loss at the hands of Bird City-Cheylin (5-8) on Friday.

It's been a rough stretch for a squad hoping for its first winning season in five years.

"At the beginning, we were the underdogs," Newell said. "Then we came out in the first four games and realized, 'OK, we can do it.' Now that we are starting to lose again, we keep telling ourselves we have to build ourselves back up."

On Friday, Palco (7-5) just got off to a rough start.

Cheylin started the game hot, making eight of its first nine shots, and then in the second quarter, the wheels just came off the bus for Palco as the Roosters committed 13 turnovers.

Palco battled back in the second half, but the Roosters struggled in crunch time. Three Rooster turnovers in the final 80 seconds helped Cheylin come away with the win.

"We just start to get ourselves worked up," Newell said. "We start rushing it. We all go really fast. We just make turnover after turnover."

However, Palco was fortunate to even be in the game at the end.

Cheylin had opportunities to make the game a blowout, but the Cougars didn't take advantage at the free throw line, missing two-thirds of their 33 attempts. In the fourth quarter alone, Cheylin made five of its 18 free throws.

"We didn't shoot the free throws very well," said Cheylin head coach Max Keltz. "I'm kind of scared to see what we did shoot. ... We are usually better than that. Maybe we need to work on them a little more."

With the exception of the first quarter, Cheylin also struggled offensively, making just 15 of 42 from the second quarter on, but the Cougars made up for it with their defense and non-stop hustle.

"We have a lot of heart on defense," said Cheylin senior Stephanie Busse. "Our offense is coming along. We are a young team. We don't have very much experience, but our defense is really working hard and is what wins games for us."

Cheylin out rebounded Palco 45 to 38 and forced 26 turnovers.

Busse led the way for Cheylin with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Elizabeth Keltz grabbed 11 rebounds, and sophomore Kalin Ritchey had eight.

Freshman Danea Magnani added 15 points for the Cougars.

Palco had had three players score in double figures.

Rooster junior guard Kiley Marcotte scored a team-high 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Junior forward Fallyn Handley posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Newell added 11 points.

It was a significant win for Cheylin. Like Palco, the Cougars also have struggled recently, dropping five of their past six games.

"We have had a lot of close games this year -- a lot of games we should have won, so it was good to win this one," Busse said.

Palco first-year girls' basketball coach Justin Pierce said his squad has played well, but the competition has been stiff.

Until Cheylin, all of Palco's losses have been to ranked squads.

Pierce said getting out of the Roosters' recent rut boils down to "hard work and keep doing what we are doing."

Pierce wasn't even disappointed in his team after Friday's loss.

"I told them after the game that I was completely proud of them," Pierce said. "To get down like that and actually come back and win the second half like we did, I'm really proud of them. It was pure effort and want to. I felt like we wanted it more than they did. We just didn't get off to a good start."

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