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Royals fall to Chicago -9/17/2014, 10:59 AM

Tigers' Herman named MIAA Golfer of the Week -9/17/2014, 10:58 AM

Tuesday prep volleyball scores -9/17/2014, 10:52 AM

KVA volleyball rankings, Sept. 17 -9/17/2014, 10:50 AM

TMP suffers second loss to Garden City -9/17/2014, 10:46 AM

Hays High volleyball moves to 10-0 -9/17/2014, 10:47 AM

Tiger volleyball takes No. 4 UNK to five sets -9/17/2014, 10:53 AM

Tigers ride momentum of first win -9/17/2014, 10:45 AM

O'Brien earns MIAA weekly honor -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Tigers' Bradley named MIAA Specialist of the Week -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Hype continues to grow for K-State, Auburn -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

HHS soccer plays to draw -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Parkey's FG lifts Philadelphia in Indianapolis -9/16/2014, 10:24 AM

Royals walk off with win -9/16/2014, 10:13 AM

Peterson to play Sunday -9/16/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals slammed by Red Sox -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

Keselowski wins at Chicagoland -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

KSU defense ready for test -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

Broncos escape Chiefs -9/15/2014, 4:42 PM

Tigers roll at NSU -9/14/2014, 10:23 AM

FHSU volleyball goes 2-2 in S. Dakota -9/14/2014, 7:53 PM

TMP boys second, girls third at Wamego -9/14/2014, 7:53 PM

Hays High thrashes Great Bend -9/13/2014, 1:03 PM

Area prep scores, Sept. 12 -9/12/2014, 10:24 PM

Ellis holds on for first win, beats TMP -9/12/2014, 7:54 PM

TMP volleyball 0-3 in Larned -9/12/2014, 10:30 AM

TMP soccer beats HHS -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

Royals fall to Red Sox -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

HHS volleyball earns sweep at Dodge now 8-0 -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

HHS second in Dodge, leads WAC -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

Tigers look to bounce back on road -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

HHS second in Dodge, leads WAC -9/12/2014, 10:29 AM

Goodell in hot seat amid Ray Rice video reports -9/11/2014, 10:22 AM

HHS advances to semis, will face TMP -9/11/2014, 10:22 AM

HHS, Great Bend meet in rivalry game -9/11/2014, 10:22 AM

Goodell in hot seat amid Ray Rice video reports -9/11/2014, 10:21 AM

TMP, Ellis look to bounce back -9/11/2014, 10:21 AM

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

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
Ellis claims girls' MCL title

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Ellis claims girls' MCL title

Published on -1/20/2013, 10:00 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Smith Center High School girls’ basketball team had won 30 straight regular season contests and six consecutive games at the Mid-Continent League tournament, including last year’s title. No current Ellis player had even defeated the Lady Red.

Veteran Railroader coach Perry Mick knew he would approach Saturday’s MCL tournament championship game in vintage Ellis fashion: an up-tempo, fast breaking style.

“I tell you what, I am not real smart about how to do some of this stuff, but if we can outrun people, we are just going to do it,” Mick said.

Ellis, led by senior guard Bailey Hensley and freshman Alexcia Deutscher, forced Smith Center into foul trouble and miscues late, and eventually pulled off a 73-63 overtime victory in a frenetic, highly-entertaining contest at Gross Memorial Coliseum.

“We talk all the time about not going into these things being scared or being timid or that no matter how good or bad we are, and I think we played hard, and it just a nice effort,” Mick said.

Ellis, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A, improved to 12-1, while fourth-ranked Smith Center dropped to 10-1. It was the Railers’ first tournament title since 2007 and fifth all-time, tied with Osborne for second-most.

Smith Center had three players foul out, seniors Alexis Ryan, Sydney Benoit and Trenna Cox. Benoit and Cox, Smith Center’s top two players, combined for 22 points, 14 from Benoit, seven below her season average.

“My leadership, my upperclassmen, did not play well tonight,” Smith Center coach Nick Linn said. “We played hard. There is a difference between playing well and playing hard. We played hard, and I thought if we just played fundamentally sound, then we would be fine. We didn’t play fundamentally sound.”

Smith Center had 37 turnovers, 22 more than the Railers. The Railers had a 46-13 advantage from the free throw line. Ellis’ victory was the first win against the Lady Red since Feb. 6, 2009.

“Smith Center has been a team that we have been wanting to beat for a really long time,” Hensley said. “We knew that we could do it, and we went out there and we did it.”

Hensley tallied a career-high 28 points, including 16 of 21 from the free throw line in a performance she labeled the best of her career.

“We cannot let her drive and then trail like we did so many times tonight,” Linn said. “We’ve got to defend her.”

Deutscher has scored in double figures every game this season and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds despite fighting illness.

“It’s just been an amazing feeling,” said Hensley, a four-year starter. “We have been working for this for a really long time, and it’s just crazy.”

No team had a double-figure lead until overtime. Benoit, who was also in foul trouble in Friday’s semifinal win against Norton, collected her fourth foul with 1 minute, 33 seconds left in the third quarter and the game tied at 40.

She left the game and didn’t return until 5:57 remained in regulation. Ellis, helped by four free throws from Hensley and a basket from Deutscher, built a 51-46 lead when Benoit on the bench.

“Bailey is a really quick girl, and she is not necessarily a scorer, because she doesn’t make jump shots,” Mick said. “Everything she does is off hustle and free throws. To get 28 points off hustle, that’s saying something for the way she played tonight.”

Smith Center, backed by 25 points and 13 rebounds from junior Colbie Decker, came back to tie the game at 55 with 2:10 left.

The teams exchanged baskets and Smith Center had a chance to take the lead, but turned the ball over with 30 seconds remaining when the ball went through Benoit’s hands. Ellis had a chance in the final seconds, but couldn’t convert.

“We haven’t been doing that so much and today, we did it,” Linn said. “It kind of reared it’s ugly head today, and I told the kids I am so proud of their hard work, but I am really disappointed with how they played fundamentally.

“I didn’t tell them, ‘When we play them again, it’s going to be different,’” he added. “No. We have to get better tomorrow and we have to build from that.”

In the overtime, Ellis scored the first six points. Deutscher collected a steal and passed it to sophomore Sarah Mick, who found Deutscher for the basket. Then, senior Megan Honas sunk a trey – her only field goal of the game. With 51.5 seconds left, Benoit went for a steal on the perimeter and committed her fifth foul when she bumped Honas. A few seconds later, Cox also fouled out.

“In any big game, role players have to come out and contribute,” Mick said. “…Sydney Benoit, she is the best player in the league, there is no doubt, she has got a great jump shot, but tonight, I think our depth is what helped us.”

In the final seconds, Ellis collected a steal and Hensley found herself wide-open under the basket. Instead of holding the ball, she dribbled in and scored, a fitting ending. As the buzzer sounded, Ellis celebrated and a smiling Deutscher immediately ran over to Hensley and hugged her teammate.

“When I went into the locker room, all I could say was, ‘I don’t know what to do.’ I just was in shock, I think,” Hensley said.

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