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HHS girls fall, will play for 7th -1/30/2015, 5:29 PM

Tiger baseball picked 11th in MIAA -1/30/2015, 1:58 PM

TMP picks up dual win at Plainville -1/30/2015, 10:31 AM

Olathe South too much for Hays High -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Hoxie girls chase record -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

KSU prepares for Allen Fieldhouse -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Wichita State will appeal ruling that takes away baseball wins -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Nino Williams unlikely to play for Wildcats -1/30/2015, 10:12 AM

Tiger softball picked fifth in MIAA -1/29/2015, 11:27 AM

Tiger women win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU men pick up needed win at Emporia -1/29/2015, 10:30 AM

No. 12 Wichita State survives Loyola's challenge -1/29/2015, 10:23 AM

KU wins ugly game -1/29/2015, 10:31 AM

Graham enjoying KU life -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Mountaineers take down Wildcats -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/28/2015, 11:03 AM

Belichick, Patriots focused solely on Seattle, Super Bowl -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

MVC strong at the top -1/28/2015, 11:02 AM

Former Tiger, HHS coach named new FB coach at Mac -1/27/2015, 6:57 PM

Tiger women vault to No. 6 in poll -1/27/2015, 2:39 PM

James Shields remains a free agent, but Royals 'not sure there's a fit' -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Pats' owner defends Belichick, Brady -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

Alexander newcomer of the week -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

KSU's Edwards finding success as the sixth man -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wins Kansas Cup after scoring error -1/27/2015, 10:17 AM

FHSU wrestling takes second in Kansas Cup -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

WSU baseball starts second season under Butler -1/26/2015, 10:36 AM

No. 14 WSU hammers Drake -1/26/2015, 10:37 AM

Stafford named Offensive MVP in first Pro Bowl -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

TMP boys, girls claim MCL title; HHS boys fall -1/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Brand tops Deterding in Bob Kuhn Classic -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Tiger wrestling falls short of No. 3 UNK -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

No. 17 Tigers dominate No. 4 Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

FHSU men fall short of Pitt State -1/25/2015, 8:41 PM

Friday's area prep basketball boxscores -1/25/2015, 2:45 PM

-1/25/2015, 2:00 PM

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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Tigers begin final stretch

Published on -2/12/2013, 10:11 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

For years, Fort Hays State University played every team in the league during the first half of the MIAA season. Then the Tigers played every team again in the second half of the slate. When the season finished, FHSU had faced each conference team home and away.

Because of the pod system this year, the schedule has changed. FHSU plays each of the 14 other MIAA squads one time. In addition, it plays the four teams in its pod, Northwest Missouri State University, University of Nebraska-Kearney, Washburn University and Missouri Western State University, both home and away.

"It's a goofy schedule for one year," coach Tony Hobson said in his weekly news conference Monday.

Last week, FHSU faced Northwest Missouri and UNK at home. This week, the Tigers play Wednesday at Northwest Missouri and Saturday at UNK.

Then in the following two weeks, Fort Hays will have its rematches versus Washburn and Missouri Western.

"It's just different," Hobson said. "I don't know what else you would do. In the pod system, you are going to have some of that happen, it just does, and it's worse for some people. Kearney plays us two times in a row, because they have a bye week on Wednesday. Does it make a big difference? Probably not. It's just a little strange."

Fort Hays concluded a 4-0 homestand Saturday with a big victory versus Nebraska-Kearney.

The Tigers stand at 16-5, 8-5 MIAA with five contests left. Northwest Missouri is at 11-10, 5-8 MIAA. Game time is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in Maryville, Mo.

The Bearcats are the lone MIAA team that routinely plays zone and has no post players that often take 3-pointers, which means Fort Hays could play sophomore center Kate Lehman and junior forward Tera Ingalsbe together. Lehman stands fourth in the MIAA at 15.6 points per contest, while sophomore center Maggie Marnin paces Northwest with 11.4 points per contest.

"This is the first time we have played somebody the second time this year, so you don't know how your team is going to react," Hobson said. "It's kind of different, because usually the last half of the season in conference, you have had nine or 10 repeat games."

If FHSU had the same record on the men's side, it would be a game out of first. However, the Tigers stand in sixth place -- and are 1-4 versus the teams above them in the standings.

"We are going to have a hard time getting in the top-four with the way the schedule is set, and considering three of the teams that we are battling for that position, we have lost to on the road and we don't play them again," Hobson said. "We would lose the tiebreaker. It's a total different dynamic than the men's side. If we were on the men's side with our record or one game better, we would be second, third. We are really top-loaded this year,"

Even if the Tigers win out, FHSU will have a difficult time earning a top-four seed and first-round bye to the MIAA conference tournament, something Hobson isn't really concerned with.

"We feel like we can beat anybody in the conference and when it comes down to tournament time, is it that big of a deal if you play a Tuesday game (instead of a bye) before a Friday game?," Hobson said. "Eh, not necessarily. We are not really going to worry about it at this time."

Fort Hays received a breakout performance from senior Traci Keyser in Saturday's victory versus the Lopers. Keyser, a four-year player, moved to the bench in early January. She tallied a season-high 24 points in 24 minutes, including five 3-pointers. Entering the contest, Keyser, top 10 on several career statistical lists with the Tigers, was averaging 5.5 points per contest this season. Hobson said the team was happy for Keyser, a player who is well respected on the squad.

"I love playing with these girls and these coaches," Keyser said. "It's been a blessing here."

This season, Keyser has averaged 6.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest and shot 30.4 percent from 3-point range. Last year, she averaged 9.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and shot 31.5 percent from long range on a team that finished 20-9. As a sophomore, Keyser collected all-MIAA honorable mention honors when she averaged a team-high 11.2 points per contest, 3.5 rebounds and shot 39.5 percent from the floor for a 12-14 squad.

"I don't think it's been as erratic as what it would seem just by looking at stats," Hobson said. "... I think she has probably been a little more consistent than what we have given her credit for."

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