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Wilson Girls' Run Ends with Loss to Central Christian

Wilson DragonsSTAFFORD-Josie Ibarra's jump shot with 17 seconds remaining provided Hutchinson Central Christian with what proved to be its winning points as the Lady Cougars held on to defeat Wilson 39-35 in the Class 1A Division ll Girls Sub-State Championship game Saturday evening at Stafford Middle/High School.

The top seeded Lady Dragons jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first quarter on a three-point basket by Kaleigh Hanzlick and a layup by Riley Dietz.  However, the Lady Cougars, the number three seed in the Sub-State responded with four quick points. After Wilson extended their lead to 7-4, Hutchinson Central Christian went on a 9-2 run to lead 13-9 after the game's first eight minutes.

The second period in this game looked like the second period in Friday's semifinal win over Stafford for Wilson as turnovers allowed the Lady Cougars to build up a 20-12 advantage midway through the quarter.  Thanks to two three pointers apiece by Kate Zelenka and Katrina Zorn, the Lady Dragons cut the deficit to one point before Central Christian led 25-22 at intermission.

The third quarter was a defensive struggle as the two teams combined for 10 total points.  Each time Wilson closed to within one point, the Lady Cougars' Lindsey Kauffman had an answer.   First with a three-pointer and then a field goal to help Central Christian keep their lead at 30-27.  Wilson faced an even bigger challenge when Katrina Zorn spent the last five minutes and 26 seconds of the quarter on the bench after picking up her fourth foul.   She did however return and play the entire fourth quarter before fouling out near the very end of the game.

Central Christian built their lead to 34-29 in the fourth quarter and tried to take time off the clock with constant passing, but two key turnovers kept the Lady Dragons alive.   One was a travel and the other an over and back violation at the mid-court stripe.  Zorn hit one three-pointer to bring Wilson to within 34-32, then after the Lady Cougars' Ziya Simms made one of two free throws to extend their lead to 35-32, Zelenka knocked down her third three-pointer of the contest to tie the game 35-35 with 52.2 seconds left in regulation, sending the Wilson fans into a frenzy.

After running some time off the clock and calling timeout to talk things over, Central Christian passed the ball some more until Ibarra knocked down her jump shot with 17 seconds left to give them the lead back at 37-35.  With Wilson coach Rod Seehafer electing not to use a timeout, the Lady Dragons moved into the front court and with five seconds left, Hanzlick had a good look on a  three-point attempt but the ball struck iron and bounced high into the air allowing Kauffman to come down with a crucial rebound and draw a foul with 1.6 seconds remaining.

After time was put back on the clock, the time left read 3.1 seconds and Central Christian was set to inbound underneath their own basket potentially giving Wilson an opportunity for a game-tying or game-winning basket off a turnover.  Kauffman took the inbounds pass and drew Wilson's seventh team foul.  Kauffman iced the game with two free throws sending the Lady Cougars (13-9) back to the State Tournament in Dodge City with their second conecutive Sub-State Championshp game victory over Wilson.

Kauffman led Central Christian with 14 points while Simms added nine.  Zelenka was Wilson's leading scorer with 11 points while Katrina Zorn added nine of her own.  Saturday's game was the last High School game for seniors, Zelenka, Kendyl and Katrina Zorn, Riley Dietz and Valeria Villonia.  With the loss Wilson's season ends with a record of 16-6.

In the Boys Sub-State Championship game later Saturday evening, #1 seed Elyria Christian rallied past #2 seed Hutchinson Central Christian 62-55.

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