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Lady Tigers own 6-0 record, No. 1 ranking in 1A D-I

POSTED December 21, 2011 10:20 p.m.
Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune/

St. John head coach Danny Smith has posted a 72...

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ST. JOHN — Being ranked No. 1 in Class 1A Division-I is nothing new to the St. John High School girls’ basketball team.
For the Lady Tigers, being No. 1 started at the beginning of the volleyball season, where they spent most of the campaign at the top of the Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
Now, the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association has had St. John at the top of its rankings for the last two weeks.
“These kids are the same ones that won the state volleyball tournament,” St. John head coach Dan Smith said. “They’ve been working together all volleyball season.
“They know how to win, being together, working together. Just knowing your teammates. That really helps.”
The volleyball team has won the state tournament three of the last four years. The last time the basketball team won the  state championship was in 2008.
“I really don’t pay attention to the rankings,” Smith said. “The only thing we care about is where we’re ranked at the end of the season.
“When we won state a few years ago, we weren’t ranked No. 1.”
The Lady Tigers, who are 6-0 thus far, have brought back every player from last year’s 20-3 season, which ended with a loss to Coldwater-South Central in a sub-state championship game.
Teresa Wade, the only senior on the team, leads St. John with an average of 16 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
“Teresa is a silent leader,” Smith said. “She isn’t very vocal, but she leads by example. She just has a great work ethic. She really works to get better every day, and I think all of our girls do.”
Wade also has 21 steals thus far. A four-year starter, St. John is 72-7 over the past three seasons with Wade.
Morgan Osborne averages 10 points and 4.2 rebounds, as well as having a team-leading 28 assists.
Jamie Waters, the team’s starting point guard who has been sidelined by a meniscus knee injury, has averaged 10 points and 5.0 rebounds in the first five games of the season.
“Teresa, Morgan and Jamie are our captains,” Smith said. “They are our leaders. They do a great job for us in practice.”
Alexis Witt averages 7.4 points per game, and Tie Smith has 14 assists.
“I really think that they only pressure that the girls have is what they put on themselves,” Smith said. “I don’t really have to say anything. They push themselves to get better.
“We’ve had games where we’ve won, but the girls still weren’t happy. Either because they let the other team score too much, or they weren’t happy with how they played. They want to get better. As a coach, it’s great to have kids like that.”

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