DODGE CITY — Sharon Springs High School girls’ basketball coach coach Alicia Collett knew it would take a complete game and tremendous team effort if her Wildcats were going to compete against top seed Cunnigham.
Coming in to the Class 1A Division II state tournament at the United Wireless Arena as the eighth seed meant playing perfect at both ends in an underdog role.
The Wildcats found out just how that is as they fell 57-33, ending their state tournament early.
Cunningham held a 6-5 lead after the Cats’ Haylee Hennick buried a 3-pointer at the 4:55 mark in the opening quarter.
After that, it was Cunningham the rest of the way.
Cunningham led 10-8 at the end of the quarter, and then opened that up to 21-12 at intermission.
The top seed then opened the third with an 11-0 run before Sharon Springs hit a free throw nearly six minutes into the period. They raised that lead to 37-15 after three behind a 16-3 output.
Cunningham was a good team, Collet said, but they were a team her group should have been able to handle.
“They were good, but to be honest, it was all about what we didn’t do tonight,” Collet said. “We haven’t played that flat for quite a while. They just came out with terrible energy.”
You can’t win if you sit back, she noted.
Statistics prove just how dominant Cunningham was.
Cunningham shot 44 percent from the floor (19 of 43), and out-boarded the Wildcats 40-22.
And while the turnovers almost were even (17 for Cunningham, 15 for Sharon Springs), Cunningham made the most of its steals, winning that statistic 16-4.
They were also 17 or 23 from the line, while the Wildcats were 9 of 11.
“The defensive effort just wasn’t where we wanted it to be tonight,” Collet said. “They (Cunningham) played well; I don’t want to take anything away from them.”
Haylee Hemmick was the only Wildcat in double figures. The sophomore scored 10 points, with senior Carli Haislip adding eight and senior Sydni Allen scoring seven in their final game