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Centre girls finish regular season ranked 8th in state

Staff writer

The Centre Lady Cougars are ranked eighth in 1A Division I after the final regular season state basketball rankings came out. Centre finished second in the Wheat State League with a record of 6-1, behind undefeated Goessel.

After a 64-53 victory Friday at home against Blue Valley-Randolph, Centre’s overall record was 17-3, the same as in 2013-2014.

Six seniors — Nellie Kassebaum, Shelby Makovec, Callie Riffel, Kailyn Riffel, Brenna Shields, and Cassy Thompson — played their final home game Friday.

Three underclassmen, Ally Basore, Lotti Benning, and Summer Espinoza, teamed with Makovec in the first quarter to score 19 points. Blue Valley scored 11 points.

Kassebaum opened the second quarter with a steal and a layup. Blue Valley made a free throw and a trey to get within 6 points, 21-15, but that was as close as the Rams got. Shields scored 4 points and Shelby Pankratz made a basket, contributing to a 37-20 Centre lead at halftime.

Blue Valley staged a late comeback in the third quarter after Centre took a 25-point lead. The Rams had 3 treys, but Centre led by 11 points at the end of the quarter. The spread remained the same in the final period as both teams scored 13 points.

“The offensive effort was very good in this game,” coach Alan Stahlecker said, “one of the best of the season as far as ball movement and distribution of the basketball. For the second game in a row, we had three girls score in double figures.”

Makovec scored 22 points including 4 treys. She had 6 rebounds and 3 steals.

Benning matched her season-high at 15 points. She also had 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 6 blocked shots.

Shields had her best scoring game of the season with 10 points. She also provided 4 assists and 4 steals.

Pankratz had 8 points and 4 assists. Other scorers were Basore, 4 points; Kassebaum and Callie Riffel, 2 each; and Espinoza, 1.

Seeded second behind Goessel in substate, the team will play Thursday against Rural Vista or Burrton at Rosalia. If they win, they will play at 6 p.m. Saturday in the championship game.

Last modified March 5, 2015

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