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FHSU defense carries Tigers to win over Lindenwood -9/21/2014, 3:10 AM

Tiger women win in 2OT -9/21/2014, 7:27 PM

Tigers start 1-1 at home -9/21/2014, 7:27 PM

Tiger duo competes at ITA regional -9/21/2014, 7:27 PM

Area prep football roundup, Sept. 19 -9/21/2014, 7:27 PM

TMP plays better, comes up short at Smith Center -9/20/2014, 3:03 PM

Prep FB scores, Sept. 19 -9/19/2014, 10:36 PM

Hays High outlasts Liberal -9/19/2014, 7:22 PM

HHS girls third on home course -9/19/2014, 11:15 AM

HHS soccer drops match to Dodge City -9/19/2014, 10:21 AM

FHSU soccer falls to NSU -9/19/2014, 10:58 AM

Tigers look for first home win -9/19/2014, 10:59 AM

TMP soccer rolls past Buhler -9/19/2014, 11:00 AM

TMP girls' golf second in Larned -9/19/2014, 11:00 AM

Auburn squeaks past K-State in Manhattan -9/19/2014, 11:02 AM

HHS volleyball loses twice in Garden City -9/19/2014, 11:03 AM

HHS tennis fifth in Dodge -9/19/2014, 11:03 AM

FHSU tennis tops Kansas Wesleyan -9/18/2014, 10:30 AM

Royals set up key series with Detroit -9/18/2014, 10:29 AM

Monarchs face first road test, Redmen -9/18/2014, 10:14 AM

Big game for 'Cats -9/18/2014, 10:13 AM

Hays High gets Liberal for home opener -9/18/2014, 10:14 AM

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

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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myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
Stepping up in Smith Center

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Stepping up in Smith Center

Published on -2/13/2013, 10:10 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Last year, Colbie Decker and Briana Dietz were little-used role players for a Smith Center girls' basketball team that finished 22-1 and a game away from the state tournament. The Lady Red suffered two season-ending injuries to a pair of starters and had trouble replacing 16 points a game. Dietz averaged three points a contest, while Decker tacked on 2.8 points per game.

A year later, Decker and Dietz are vital cogs for a Smith Center squad battling injuries. Last Friday, senior Sydney Benoit, the team leader in multiple categories, rarely played because of a hamstring injury. However, the Lady Red won easily as Decker collected 19 points on 9 of 15 shooting.

"Without that tonight, I thought we were stale," coach Nick Linn said. "We made some perimeter shots, but we can't rely on that. We have to have that inside game. Colbie provides that for us."

Dietz finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including several smooth baseline jumpers. Dietz has near-perfect shooting form and releases the ball with good spin. Dietz has honed her form for years. Growing up, Dietz's dad checked her elbow in drills in the garage or the gym.

"I work at it, but it's not something that is just going to come naturally," Dietz said.

On Tuesday, Smith Center, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, dropped to 16-2 with a 55-51 loss to Osborne. Benoit didn't play. Decker finished with 10 points and Dietz had nine as four players combined for all but two of Smith Center's points. The defeat drops Smith Center out of sole possession of the No. 1 seed in the Plainville sub-state and in the mix with Ellis and Oakley, also ranked teams. With Benoit's status uncertain, Decker and Dietz will likely have to continue to play at a high level in sub-state in two weeks.

"Others have to step up and take her place," Dietz said.

The 6-foot Decker, a junior, has emerged as one of the area's stronger post players and a consistent force inside.

She averages 11.6 points and 6.6 rebounds, each second on the team behind Benoit. In the summer, Decker played in a few tournaments with the other players. Linn said Decker has "gotten a whole lot better" from Day 1 until now.

"Then we had a really, really hard time trying to get her to score under the basket," Linn said.

Until Jan. 19, Decker had four single-figure games and five double-figure contests, but only one game with more than 12 points. Then, Decker collected 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 73-63 loss to Ellis at the league tournament championship. Since then, Decker has six double-figure scoring games in the last seven contests. Decker has worked on "getting big" down low.

"Giving them a big target and letting them know that I want the ball," Decker said.

Dietz had just three contests with at least eight points before Feb. 1. In the last three games, though, Dietz has 11, 14 and nine points.

"She has got great form on her shots and when she is confident and when she is feeling it, she does really good things for us," Linn said. "It's when she shoots out of our system. When we run things; and then she shoots in a hurry is when she gets into trouble. She has been in some games like that. I thought she stepped up (against Hill City) when Sydney went out."

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