DODGE CITY — With nearly flawless execution down the stretch, the Centralia girls basketball team had just enough time to complete a monster rally.


The Panthers trailed by 18 heading into the final frame but outscored previously unbeaten Cunningham 23-3 in the fourth quarter to notch a rousing 48-46 win in the first round of the Class 1A tournament on Thursday at United Wireless Arena.


Centralia got it tied up with 1:15 left on free throws from Avery Deters. After a missed layup from Cunningham, Kennedy Becker scored the game-winner on a layup with about 20 seconds left, and Cunningham saw a shot crawl off the rim in the closing seconds.


Panthers’ coach Roger Holthaus said he implored his team to stay patient while trying to dig out of a massive hole.


“I kept telling them, ‘You’ve got a shot,’ ” Holthaus said. “When it got down to seven or eight, I said, ‘You’ve got a shot.’


“We just told them don’t force it, we’re going to get one. Seniors do what seniors should do at state tournaments — they hit ‘em.”


A 3-pointer from Olivia Kuckelman helped ignite the rally in the fourth, and Becker took over late, finishing with 21 points on 9 of 10 shooting from the field.


“In the fourth quarter, we found Kennedy Becker,” Holthaus said. “She got inside and did what she had to do.


“I think Olivia’s 3 to start the fourth was huge,” Holthaus said. “And then Morgan Kramer hit a shot that was a big, big shot. Avery Deters on the defensive end, she did an awesome job of taking that pick and roll out and stopping their stuff.”


Morgan Meyers scored a game-high 24 points for Cunningham. Kramer joined Becker in double figures for Centralia with 10.


Cunningham finished the season at 25-1 while Centralia (19-8) advanced to the semis, where they were slated to meet Olpe at 3 p.m. Friday.


“I’m happy for them,” Holthaus said. “This was a year where nobody thought we’d be here, nobody thought we could do much. To their credit, they just kind of stuck with it.


“Morgan Kramer’s been just an unbelievable leader for us. Kept her composure all game. Just so proud of her and everything she’s accomplished this year.”


OLPE 59, NORWICH 43 — The Eagles placed four in double figures and forced Norwich into 21 turnovers en route to a decisive win to remain unbeaten.


Olpe led 28-19 at halftime and extended the lead to 15 heading into the fourth.


“In the first half, if we shoot well, we think we play well, but we didn’t shoot well,” Olpe coach Jesse Nelson said. “Defensively we made some mistakes late, just let kids get the baseline and stuff like that.


“Offensively, we didn’t shoot that well (5 of 19 from 3). I think with little schools coming in here with no backdrop, sometimes it’s hard to get going that way. Hopefully with that game under us we can shoot the ball a little bit better.”


Macy Smith and Hattie Fisher scored 14 apiece for Olpe (26-0) while Marley Heins and Neleh Davis added 12 and 10, respectively.


Without a true post, Nelson that the Eagles have adjusted well to playing with a smaller lineup.


“I’ve always had some post players; I’ve always liked having at least two,” Nelson said. “We’re just out of them, don’t have any.


“This group of kids came in knowing that we had some weaknesses that way. They’ve done a great job of playing together and doing the things we had to do in order to win some games.”


Norwich (22-4) was led by Avery Rosenhagen’s 17 points.


CLASS 1A GIRLS


CENTRALIA 48, CUNNINGHAM 46


Centralia;15;7;3;23;—;48


Cunningham;21;13;9;3;—;46


Centralia (19-8) — Kuckelman 1-8 0-0 3 3, Becker 9-10 3-3 21, Becker 0-0 0-0 0, Haverkamp 0-0 0-2 0, Kramer 4-11 0-0 10, Deters 0-7 5-6 5, Koch 2-4 2-4 6, Bergman 0-0 0-0 0, Domann 0-0 0-0 0, Flentie 0-3 0-0 0, Stallbaumer 0-0 0-0 0, Mars 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 17-46 10-15 48.


Cunningham (25-1) — Stalcup 0-0 0-0 0, A. McGuire 1-3 0-0 2, M. McGuire 1-3 0-0 2, Panek 1-3 0-0 2, Hansen 0-0 0-0 0, Meyers 9-15 3-6 24, Wright 1-5 0-0 3, R. McGuire 0-0 0-0 0, Hunter McGuire 2-3 0-1 5, Ellis 0-0 0-0 0, DeWeese 2-6 4-4 8, Huelskamp 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-38 7-11 46.


3-point goals — Centralia 4-15 (Kramer 2-5, Kuckelman 1-6, Mars 1-3, Flentie 0-1). Cunningham 5-10 (Meyers 3-6, Wright 1-2, H. McGuire 1-2). Rebounds — Centralia 25 (Deters 9), Cunningham 29 (DeWeese 6). Total fouls — Centralia 14, Cunnigham 15. Fouled out — none.


Olpe 59, Norwich 43


Norwich;7;12;15;9;—;43


Olpe;11;17;21;10;—;59


Norwich (22-4) — Bates 0-1 0-0 0, Samuelson 0-0 0-0 0, Rosenhagen 6-6 3-5 17, Scott-Welch 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle 2-5 0-0 5, Hibbs 1-1 0-0 2, Kelly 0-1 0-2 0, Durr 2-4 0-1 4, Sheetz 0-0 0-0 0, Poe 4-7 0-0 8, Gosch 2-7 3-3 7. Totals 17-33 6-12 43.


Olpe (26-0) — Smith 6-9 0-2 14, Steffes 0-0 0-0 0, Fritts 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 4-8 2-2 10, Heins 3-9 6-6 12, Bishop 6-10 2-2 14, Scheve 0-1 0-0 0, Clark 0-0 0-0 0, M. Broyles 0-0 0-0 0, L. Broyles 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-45 10-12 59.


3-point goals — Norwich 3-7 (Rosenhagen 2-2, Kyle 1-3, Poe 0-1, Bates 0-1). Olpe 5-19 (Fischer 3-7, Smith 2-3, Davis 0-3, Heins 0-3, Bishop 0-3). Rebounds — Norwich 23 (Gosch 5, Durr 5, Poe 5). Olpe 21 (Bishop 6). Total fouls — Norwich 14, Olpe 13. Fouled out — none.