TMP girls basketball fends off Ellis

Special to Hays Daily News

It was a shootout down the stretch of Saturday’s fifth-place game in WaKeeney at the Mid-Continent League tournament. The Thomas More Prep-Marian girls, leading by six points to start the fourth quarter, would make a basket only to have Ellis answer back, swishing five 3-pointers in the period. The Monarchs held on for a 58-52 win.

“It was a battle of Ellis County, I guess,” TMP coach Rose McFarland said. “Back and forth, back and forth.”

TMP, ranked ninth in Class 3A, won with balanced scoring. Senior Kyleigh Allen scored a team-high 13 points despite nursing a sore ankle. Sophomore Jaci VonLintel came off the bench to record a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Megan Hamel added 10 points, including a 3-pointer near halfcourt at the buzzer to tie the game 23-23 at halftime.

“(Allen) was hurting, gave us a great spark,” McFarland said. “(VonLintel) posted up inside, got some buckets, she’s just long in there.”

Hamel’s long shot just before the break provided a needed boost, McFarland said.

“She just took her time, looked at the clock and fired it up there, and it went in,” McFarland said. “It was awesome.

“That was key, because we were kind of struggling early,” she added. “The girls were pumped up heading into halftime.”

VonLintel scored to give TMP (9-2) a nine-point lead late in the third, but Ellis (2-7) countered with a trey just before the buzzer from junior Lakyn Fischer to cut the Railroaders’ deficit to 39-33.

TMP led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter, but Ellis got within six twice and made it a five-point game with a late 3-pointer from sophomore Hannah Schiel.

Schiel finished with 11 points. Sophomore Emily Eck led the Railers with 14 points and senior Grace Eck scored 10.

TMP was set to play Oakley on Monday but the game was postponed because of winter weather.