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K-State falls short of upset bid against No. 3 Arizona -11/26/2014, 9:17 AM

Tiger women move to 4-1 -11/26/2014, 9:17 AM

Tiger men grind out win -11/26/2014, 9:17 AM

Top seven spots remain unchanged in latest College Football Playoff rankings -11/26/2014, 9:16 AM

Ravens pull away in second half for 34-27 victory over Saints -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Wildcats prep for Jayhawks -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

KSU beats Purdue in Maui, No. 3 Arizona next -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Tigers earn all-region honors -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

Berry out with possible cancer -11/25/2014, 10:21 AM

No. 11 Kansas returns to form in 87-60 win -11/25/2014, 10:11 AM

Lehman named MIAA Player of the Week -11/24/2014, 11:09 AM

Romo rallies Cowboys past Giants for 31-28 win -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Dolphins collapse, lose to Broncos -11/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Wichita State routs Newman, now 3-0 -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

TCU closing in on program's first Big 12 title -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

KSU's Weber has strong ties with Purdue, Painter -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers' Page wins at UNK Open -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

FHSU soccer falls in quarterfinals -11/24/2014, 10:32 AM

Tigers move on to Elite Eight -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tiger men pick up second win -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Tigers search for new coaches -11/23/2014, 7:43 PM

Phillipsburg drops a heartbreaker to end season -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

KVA all-state volleyball teams -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Tiger women roll to second straight win -11/23/2014, 7:42 PM

Knights claim state title -11/22/2014, 10:46 AM

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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
Railers engineer turnaround

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Railers engineer turnaround

Published on -1/22/2013, 10:31 AM

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By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

Ellis High School girls' basketball coach Perry Mick knew his Railroaders would be stronger than last season's 9-12 record. However, Mick said he was "quite shocked" by the Railers' 12-1 start and Mid-Continent League tournament title Saturday.

Ellis defeated Smith Center 73-63 in overtime at Gross Memorial Coliseum to end the Lady Red's 30-game regular season winning streak. Smith Center was undefeated and ranked No. 4 at the time.

In the newest rankings released Monday, Smith Center is ranked No. 3, while Ellis stands at No. 4 in Class 2A.

"I didn't know that we would be quite to this level," Mick said.

Senior point guard Bailey Hensley, easily the team's most experienced player and a four-year starter, played on a team her freshman year that lost in the MCL and sub-state finales. The past two seasons, young Ellis teams finished under .500 before being one of the biggest changes among elite teams in the 2A classification this winter.

"I am not surprised," Hensley said. "I knew we could do it. We have worked so hard and we have all just come together as a team. We are always encouraging to each other."

"If one person is doing something good, the whole team is cheering them on no matter who it is," she added. "We are just very encouraging to each other and that just keeps pushing us. We knew that we could do it."

Off to the best start in Mick's 14 years, Ellis remains a young team with just two seniors.

"Anytime when you have a few years when you struggle, and we have had the last couple and you just keep preaching, just keep your head up, keep learning, keep getting better and you know that the dividends are going to end up paying off at the end, and boy, they sure have," Mick said.

Still, the returning Railers have improved their 3-point shooting. Freshman Alexcia Deutscher and Hensley lead the team. The strong supporting cast includes junior Kaleigh Soneson, sophomores Stephanie Greenway and Sarah Mick and senior Megan Honas.

"I am not surprised," Smith Center coach Nick Linn said. "When preseason stuff came out, I picked them No. 1, and I really believe that they have the nucleus to do well."

Deutscher has scored in double figures in every contest and has averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.8 steals a game.

"She is just amazing," Hensley said. "I am so lucky to have her on our team this year. I wish I could play with her four more years. We just all worked together so well, and it's awesome."

She delivered 20 points against Smith Center. Like she has done all season, Deutscher often grabbed a defensive rebound and immediately took off down the floor. Mick said Deutscher just "goes a 100 miles an hour the whole time."

"You start with that Deutscher girl on the inside," Linn said. "You've got to somehow stop her, and then you've got to keep Hensley from penetrating and not turn the ball over to allow them easy baskets. That's how you've got to do it. We didn't do it."

Hensley, who tallied a career-high 28 Saturday, averages 12.3 points, 3.5 assists and 3.2 steals.

"She has been around in big games also, and she is their floor general," Linn said.

Ellis is 45 of 154 on 3-point attempts, a significant increase from last season.

"Most games, she is in double figures rebounding, too," Coach Mick said of Deutscher. "I guess that was a little surprising for me. You know, the other thing that has been a pleasant surprise is that we have made outside shots this year. We struggled last year. We didn't make a 3 until the tenth or 11th game of the season last year, and we only made 22 all year."

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