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Centre girls headed to state tourney

Makovec scores 26 as Centre girls overwhelm Goessel to win 4th straight trip to state

Staff writer

One could call it revenge for an earlier loss to the Bluebirds at home. Outstanding defensive play led the Centre girls’ basketball team to victory over Goessel on Saturday in the substate championship at Rosalia. The Cougars defeated the Bluebirds, 37-21.

“The defensive effort by the Lady Cougars was the biggest factor in our winning this game,” coach Alan Stahlecker said. “The execution of our defensive plan was superb, and every player contributed to its success.”

Goessel was seeded No. 1 with a record of 17-3 headed into the tournament. Centre was the No. 2 seed with a record of 16-3. Both teams had byes in the first round. The Lady Cougars defeated Rural Vista 50-29 in the semifinals.

The low score in Saturday’s game reflects strong defensive efforts on both sides of the court. Centre shot 25 percent for the game while Goessel hit 21 percent.

Senior Shelby Makovec scored 26 points and won a fourth trip to the state tournament. She agreed the team’s defense won the game.

“We didn’t plan to double team, but that’s what took care of it,” she said.

Exchange student Lotti Benning did an excellent job at denying Goessel inside shots. She also had 13 rebounds, many on the defensive end from the middle of Centre’s zone defense.

Goessel led 10-8 after one quarter but was held to just 1 point in the second. Makovec, Callie Riffel, and Shelby Pankratz combined for 11 points to give Centre a 19-11 lead at halftime.

Makovec and Pankratz both scored 3-pointers in the third quarter for Centre’s 6 points. Goessel scored 7 points.

Numerous steals and good blocking out at the defensive end allowed Centre to increase its lead in the fourth quarter while holding Goessel to 3 points. The girls walked away with an unbelievable 16-point victory.

The team made 15 of 20 free throws, 8 of them by Makovec late in the game.

Makovec had 6 steals, Brenna Shields had 5, and Benning had 4.

Makovec made 7 field goals and was 11-of-11 at the free-throw line.

“Though no other girl scored more than 5 points, the baskets and free throws made by each came at crucial stages of the game and often changed the momentum in our favor,” Stahlecker said.

Now at 20-3, the team is seeded No. 5 in the 1A Division I state tournament at Emporia. They will play No. 4-seeded Ingalls, 21-3, at 4:45 p.m. today in the first round of the tournament.

Rural Vista

Makovec was hot from beyond the arc Thursday in the game against another league rival, Rural Vista. She made 6-of-11 3-pointers, three of them in the last quarter.

Centre controlled the game from the start, taking a 14-5 first-quarter lead. The girls led 25-13 at halftime. They went on to win by 21 points. It was their third victory over Rural Vista this season.

Scorers were Makovec, 26; Benning, 7; Pankratz, 5; Shields, 4; and Nellie Kassebaum, Ally Basore, Callie Riffel, and Summer Espinoza, 2 points each.

Last modified March 12, 2015

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