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Royals' playoff appearance years in the making for some fans -9/30/2014, 10:34 AM

Chiefs offense gets rolling in rout -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

California has four teams in the playoffs for the first time -9/30/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP golf finishes third at Hoisington meet -9/30/2014, 10:35 AM

Monarchs move to 14-10 -9/30/2014, 10:30 AM

Big 12 coaches react to firing -9/30/2014, 10:21 AM

HHS volleyball goes 2-3 in Newton -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

HHS tennis places third at Garden City Invitational -9/29/2014, 4:16 PM

Tiger tennis finishes fall season 5-2 -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

MNF for Chiefs -9/29/2014, 10:27 AM

Royals' starters rest in win -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

KU shows Weis the door -9/29/2014, 10:26 AM

Jayhawks take the conservative route in their loss to Texas -9/28/2014, 9:43 AM

FHSU soccer cruises past SW Baptist -9/28/2014, 7:03 PM

Victoria takes advantage for close win at Ness -9/28/2014, 1:14 AM

Plainville grabs first win, beats TMP -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Area prep football roundup: Otis-Bison, Kinsley set record -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Wildcats roll -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Delton, HHS run past Garden City -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's soccer picks up 1-0 win at Southern -9/28/2014, 7:02 PM

Tiger women's XC wins at Emporia State -9/27/2014, 7:12 PM

Kansas City clinches first playoff berth since 1985 -9/27/2014, 7:02 PM

Tigers take down No. 8 Pitt State -9/27/2014, 6:53 PM

Kansas linebacker Jake Love lives on instincts -9/26/2014, 11:06 AM

Like old times, Kansas State takes pride in stuffing the run -9/26/2014, 10:57 AM

FHSU women fall 2-1 -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Big win for Tiger soccer -9/26/2014, 10:46 AM

Tough test for Tiger football -9/26/2014, 10:23 AM

Hays High, TMP move to 4A -9/26/2014, 10:24 AM

One more win and Royals are in -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS XC second at McPherson meet -9/26/2014, 10:25 AM

Indian soccer snaps skid -9/26/2014, 10:47 AM

HHS golf clinches share of WAC title -9/26/2014, 10:48 AM

Monarchs, Cardinals seek first win -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Royals drop game at Cleveland -9/25/2014, 10:26 AM

UTEP football coach Sean Kugler hopes to build a program that can emulate Kansas State -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Indians hit the road -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants, Redskins trying to avoid steeper climb in East -9/25/2014, 10:13 AM

KVA prep volleybal rankings, Sept. 24 -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS soccer falls at Great Bend -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

HHS takes third at Salina South Invitational -9/24/2014, 10:26 AM

No. 8 Washburn too much for Tigers -9/24/2014, 10:28 AM

Tiger defense continues to get stronger -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Two wins for TMP volleyball -9/24/2014, 10:27 AM

TMP soccer rolls to win -9/24/2014, 10:29 AM

Ventura dominates Indians as Royals push for postseason -9/24/2014, 10:28 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

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SPOTLIGHT
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Rough first day for Hays High girls

Published on -1/25/2013, 10:22 AM

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By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

McPHERSON -- Thursday was a rematch of last season's Mid-America Classic 52-42 championship game in names only.

Last season's finalists met again -- this time in the first round of the Mid-America Classic on Thursday in McPherson, but it wasn't much of a contest. McPherson (9-2), ranked No. 3 in Class 4A and the defending tournament champion, pummeled last season's runner-up Hays High (5-6) and cruised to a 40-point victory.

"I think our mentality was not where it was supposed to be," said Hays High senior point guard Janae Gagnon. "We came in thinking it was going to be a tough game, and we definitely showed it in the first and second quarters."

The 68-28 final score was ugly, but it could have been worse if Hays High didn't play such a strong third quarter, outscoring the Bullpups 17-8. McPherson led 42-7 at halftime and only managed to extend its lead by five points in the second half.

It still ranks as the worst blowout Hays High has suffered in nearly three years.

Hays High lost 67-27 on March 4, 2010, in the first round of the Class 5A sub-state tournament, and ironically, that loss also was at the hands of basketball powerhouse McPherson.

"McPherson is a really good ball club, but I don't think they should have beat us by 40 points," Gagnon said. "Maska even said that in the locker room, but there's nothing we can do."

Hays High couldn't get anything going in the first half, making 3 of 16 shots and surrendering 16 turnovers. Meanwhile, McPherson obliterated Hays High's 1-3-1 zone defense, making 17 of 28.

The Indians ran the zone partly to defend the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, senior forward Katelyn Loecker, who committed to play at Oklahoma State University next year, but McPherson's guards got loose, made some 3-pointers and loosened up the zone for Loecker.

McPherson head coach Chris Strathman said his team has grown accustomed to team's trying to shut down Loecker.

"It's either zone to try to slow her down, or it's man and they bring somebody to double," Strathman said. "It's one or the other. Our kids can shoot the ball from the perimeter, but they also know we need to get her touches. When she gets touches, she draws a ton of attention, and then their shots are easier."

Between Hays High's struggles and McPherson's hot shooting, it resulted in a rough half for the Indians.

"It was maybe the ugliest half of basketball I had seen in four years," said Hays High head coach Kirk Maska. "We have just got to forget it and get ready for tomorrow."

Loecker led her squad with 17 points and three blocks and tied for the team-high with six rebounds. McPherson junior guard Abby Pederson added 14 points.

Gagnon and senior Emily Braun led Hays High with nine points apiece, and Braun also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Hays High's usual top player, senior forward Katelyn Schumacher, struggled in the opening round. Schumacher, who averages 12.6 points per game and 45.6 percent shooting, finished 1 of 10 for two points against McPherson.

"I know she probably got a little bit frustrated," Maska said. "You have to be a little more creative when you're going up against 6 foot and 6-foot-1 girls. You've got to fake and do some things. ... Katelyn is tough. Katelyn is good. She'll bounce back and have a big night tomorrow."

Whatever hung over Hays High in the first half, the Indians shed it in the second half.

The Indians scored more in the first two minutes of the third quarter than it did in the entire first half, going on an 8-1 run.

Hays High switched to a man-to-man defense, and it gave McPherson fits in the third quarter, containing them to 2-of-8 shooting.

Offensively, the Indians got much more aggressive with the ball, attacking the basket over and over. Eight of the Indians' 17 third-quarter points came when Hays High players drove to the basket from the perimeter.

Gagnon said she hopes that aggressiveness will carry over into Hays High's consolation semifinal game at 4:30 p.m. today against Dodge City (2-7).

Hays High has faced Dodge City once already. The Indians overcame a 10-point deficit against the Red Demons on Jan. 15 at the HHS gym and won 44-42 on a last-second shot by Schumacher.

"Maska just said we needed to step up (against McPherson), and he was right," Gagnon said. "Since we are mostly a team of seniors, I feel like it's our time now. Our record is 5-6, so I feel like we need to pick it up. I think our mentality shifted, and we wanted to score more."

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