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Irish can shoot -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

Brannen Greene not looking to transfer from KU, father says -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

Tiger baseball continues struggle in loss -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

ESU run comes to an end in Final Four -3/26/2015, 10:15 AM

Shox, Kentucky one win away -3/26/2015, 10:14 AM

Familiar foe for WSU coach -3/25/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP's recent success started with girls' soccer -3/25/2015, 10:36 AM

Thomas, Harris leaving KSU -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

HHS softball falls in doubleheader -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

Hays High soccer has big shoes to fill -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

ESU women move on to Final Four -3/25/2015, 10:35 AM

Hoxie named top girls' program -3/24/2015, 10:37 AM

Baker's parents there to see bounceback -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

Report: Alabama will make run at Gregg Marshall -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

More honors for Lehman, Hobson -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

FHSU women 13th in St. Joseph tourney -3/24/2015, 10:18 AM

Learning to share is big part of UCLA's run to Sweet 16 -3/24/2015, 10:16 AM

Omar Infante doesn't get chance to test arm -3/24/2015, 10:16 AM

FHSU baseball falls Sunday in series finale -3/23/2015, 10:27 AM

Brad Keselowski wins Auto Club 400 on final lap -3/23/2015, 10:27 AM

Perry Ellis' big day not enough for Kansas -3/23/2015, 8:04 PM

HCC, No. 1 and undefeated, falls in national title game -3/23/2015, 10:27 AM

Wessel's career day leads WSU -3/23/2015, 10:18 AM

Lutz: Experience wins out for Wichita State -- and big -3/23/2015, 8:03 PM

Wichita State beats Jayhawks, moves on to Sweet 16 -3/23/2015, 8:01 PM

Wichita State shocks Kansas, advances to Sweet 16 -3/22/2015, 8:05 PM

FHSU women's tennis falls twice over weekend -3/22/2015, 9:01 PM

FHSU softball earns pair of sweeps; baseball splits -3/22/2015, 9:01 PM

Cold-shooting can't stop Kentucky in win -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Sam Mellinger: One phrase sums up Kansas' plan to beat Wichita State -3/22/2015, 3:54 AM

KC's Gordon feels good -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Nash officially retires -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Three-point shots key for KU in beating NMSU -3/22/2015, 9:00 PM

Lutz: Fred VanVleet puts Shockers on his shoulders -3/22/2015, 3:49 AM

Mellinger: Think KU and WSU see this as a rivalry? Think again. -3/22/2015, 3:53 AM

Zach Brown has best game at right time for Wichita State -3/22/2015, 8:59 PM

Wins by Jayhawks, Shockers raise the stakes for NCAA tourney game -3/22/2015, 3:51 AM

Wichita State beats Indiana to set up showdown with Kansas -3/20/2015, 6:20 PM

Kansas advances with 75-56 win over New Mexico State -3/20/2015, 6:18 PM

Despite injury, Benoit's story not over -3/20/2015, 10:13 AM

Wichita State's experience, toughness concerns Indiana -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

Can the Royals' Hosmer turn 2015 into an October encore? -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

Kansas hoping to benefit from past NCAA Tournament experiences -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

Browns agree to terms with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe -3/20/2015, 10:12 AM

WSU shows its experience late in close games -3/19/2015, 10:53 AM

Trenkles can offer up a treasure trove of basketball knowledge -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

Hays Optimists, Hays Rec host basketball competition -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

KU hopes for a healthy Ellis -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

Tiger softball splits with Mines -3/19/2015, 10:54 AM

Tiger baseball drops 10th straight -3/19/2015, 10:54 AM

Dorsey happy with moves -3/19/2015, 10:23 AM

FHSU softball splits on Tuesday -3/18/2015, 2:20 PM

Tigers' historic run comes to an end -3/17/2015, 10:30 AM

KU prepares to play without Cliff Alexander -3/17/2015, 10:28 AM

KU, WSU the rivalry that isn't -3/17/2015, 10:29 AM

FHSU vs. ESU -- Round 4 -3/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Tigers wrap up indoor track season -3/16/2015, 10:30 AM

FHSU baseball loses series finale on Sunday -3/16/2015, 10:31 AM

Shockers draw No. 7, play in Omaha -3/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Kevin Harvick wins again, dominates Phoenix Sprint Cup race -3/16/2015, 10:16 AM

KU a No. 2 seed -3/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Iowa State rallies past KU in title game -3/15/2015, 6:57 AM

Tigers win again -3/15/2015, 9:12 AM

Wallace County boys take 1A Division II title -3/15/2015, 4:21 PM

Stockton cruises to third place in 1A Division I -3/15/2015, 6:54 AM

Fantastic four -- Hoxie wins it again -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

FHSU softball swept by Pitt State -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

Tigers' Page third at nationals -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

FHSU's Miller destined to coach -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

Tiger baseball 0-3 against Mo. Southern in MIAA series -3/15/2015, 8:48 PM

KU beats Baylor, will play Iowa State for Big 12 title -3/14/2015, 12:45 PM

Central region — MIAA 3-0 in first round -3/14/2015, 1:06 PM

Hoxie to play for title; Stockton for third -3/14/2015, 7:41 AM

Tiger women win in first round -3/13/2015, 1:05 PM

Hill City stays close, falls in state tourney -3/13/2015, 10:21 AM

Big 12 ready to approve football tiebreakers -3/13/2015, 10:21 AM

Kelly Oubre lifts scuffling Jayhawks past TCU -3/13/2015, 10:20 AM

Wallace county moves on -3/13/2015, 10:19 AM

Williams, Stockton roll in first round -3/13/2015, 10:19 AM

MIAA tourney champ Hornets hope for region success -3/12/2015, 10:40 AM

Top-ranked St. John handles Ellis -3/12/2015, 10:40 AM

Monarchs drop physical contest in 4A II quarterfinals -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Hometown product Lunsford makes good for FHSU -3/12/2015, 12:10 PM

Faxon fuel to Tigers' fire -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Wildcats drop Big 12 tourney game to TCU -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Hoxie upends La Crosse -- Thunder Ridge falls in opener -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Tourney time at FHSU -3/12/2015, 10:39 AM

Tiger tennis rolls to victory at McPherson -3/12/2015, 11:59 AM

Tiger baseball drops game at Newman -3/12/2015, 12:00 PM

Marcus Foster regains confidence in time to help KSU -3/11/2015, 10:12 AM

Stockton, Wallace County back to state -3/11/2015, 10:12 AM

Traylor ready -3/11/2015, 10:11 AM

Baker, VanVleet national finalists -3/10/2015, 10:31 AM

State starts Wednesday for some area teams -3/10/2015, 10:31 AM

Self earns Big 12 honor -3/10/2015, 10:31 AM

Tiger women will host regional -3/8/2015, 9:34 AM

Hornets top Tigers in MIAA final -3/8/2015, 8:20 PM

TMP boys headed to state -3/8/2015, 5:09 PM

K-State falls short at Texas -3/8/2015, 8:17 AM

Late bucket helps OU sink Kansas -3/8/2015, 8:18 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
Smith Center girls escape Norton in MCL semis

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Smith Center girls escape Norton in MCL semis

Published on -1/20/2013, 8:49 PM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Smith Center High School girls' basketball team faced multiple obstacles in Friday's Mid-Continent League tournament semifinals against Norton. The Lady Red didn't rebound or shoot well. Senior Sydney Benoit, the team's best player, had four fouls and had to sit for extended periods. Smith Center was down three entering the fourth quarter.

"Things were stacked against us pretty good," Smith Center coach Nick Linn said.

Backed by Benoit, Smith Center opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run and collected a 41-36 victory at Gross Memorial Coliseum. The Lady Red, defending MCL tournament champions, won their sixth straight league tournament contest and 30th straight regular season game. Smith Center, ranked No. 4 in 2A, improved to 10-0 and was to play Ellis in the championship Saturday. The victory marked Smith Center's fewest points in the 30-game run.

"We all did not want to lose the game, so we all started kind of to pick it up," Benoit said. "We all wanted to be in the championship game."

Benoit is one of several returning Lady Red players who has improved this season. Last year, Smith Center went 22-1, one of Linn's best teams in his 22-plus years with the program.

But the Lady Red had two season-ending knee injuries to Torie Fuller and Trenna Cox. The Lady Red lost in the sub-state championship. This winter, Benoit, Cox and seniors Alexis Ryan and Briana Dietz lead a new group of Lady Red.

"Wanted to create an identity and still prove that we could be competitive," Linn said.

Benoit has raised her scoring average from 13 points as a junior to 21 this season. She finished with a team-high 18 on Friday. Linn calls her "our floor general" and "our leader."

"We lost a lot of players last year, like big roles, like rebounding," Benoit said. "I think that we all just had to step up."

Cox has tacked on nine points, a team-high 4.1 assists and 3.3 steals a contest. She missed all of track season with the knee injury and wore a brace for part of volleyball.

"You can tell when she is running sometimes, she favors it sometimes, but I think it is close to normal," Linn said. "We have to have her be normal for us to be successful. She is that important our team."

"I am just really thankful that I am able to do it," Cox added. "A lot of girls would probably be scared. I love basketball, and I love my team."

Ryan, known more for her defense, averages four steals per game. Because of Benoit's foul trouble, Ryan has to step up into a larger role.

"Alexis Ryan, she had her best game of the year tonight because she had to step it up," Linn said. "I thanked her after the game tonight."

She finished with seven points and helped keep Norton off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter until 2 minutes, 23 seconds remained in the game.

"My mom made the comment that she is like a gnat, always in your face, always trying to get the ball," Cox said. "She is a really good defender."

Norton dropped to 8-4 under first-year coach George Rossi, the longtime assistant coach under Kevin Jilka, who retired from basketball before this year. Senior Tawni Griffey paced Norton with 21 points.

Just 18 seconds in the fourth quarter, Smith Center closed the game to one point on a play inside from Benoit. At the 5:42 mark, the Lady Red took the lead for good when Benoit stole the ball and took off for a basket.

Forty seconds later, Cox drove down the right side and missed, and junior Colbie Decker grabbed the rebound and scored -- one of the few inside shots for Smith Center. Decker hit another shot shortly after to extend the lead to 35-30. Decker, averaging 10.4 points per game, finished with just those four points as the Lady Red missed multiple shots close.

"Over the course of the year, we have made those shots," Linn said.

Defensively, Smith Center changed from its trademark full-court press and went into a half-court set. The Lady Red allowed just three field goal attempts for the first six and a half minutes of the quarter. Overall, Smith Center has allowed just 33 points per game, a better mark than last season's 35.4.

"I didn't expect to see that change in the fourth quarter," Linn said. "The only change that we made was to play off the ball and play half-court man. That pressure didn't do a whole lot of good anyway."

Ellis 63, Osborne 40

A big second quarter led the Ellis girls to its first semifinal win in the tournament since 2010, and the Railers were seeking their first tourney title since 2007. Freshman Alexcia Deutscher and senior Bailey Hensley led the way for Ellis, putting up 15 points each. Junior Kaleigh Soneson also added 10 points.

Osborne, which moved into Saturday's third-place game against Norton, was paced by 13 points for junior Caityn Miller.

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