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Lady Oilers upholding two traditions

Class 2A basketball

POSTED March 5, 2012 11:01 p.m.

At the beginning of this school year, two traditions collided.
The result — Central Plains High School.
Now just eight months later, the girls’ basketball team will be making its first trip to the Class 2A state tournament, playing Oakley in the first round on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m.
“They’re a good team,” Central Plains head coach Toby Holmes said. “Of course, you’ve got to expect that because they’re at state. They’re not a pushover. They run man and zone defense. They have good shooters. They have a couple of big girls. They run a variety of looks. They press. We’re just going to have to go in ready for anything.”
Central Plains is the combination of Claflin and Quivira Heights, which merged at the start of the 2011-12 school year.
Quivira Heights went to the state tournament in 1987, taking third place under the direction of Lenny Gales, who coached the Lady Thunderbirds from 1984 to 1990.
Claflin’s tradition has produced the all-time points leader in Kansas — Jackie Stiles, who went on to star at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., which is now Missouri State. She was a No. 4 WNBA draft pick for the Portland Fire and also played for the Los Angeles Sparks.
Stiles achieved nine all-time records during her four years at Claflin. She went to the state tournament all four years, but never won a championship.
Jackie’s younger sister, Roxanne Stiles, went to the state tournament three years, winning it all in 2005 and 2006, according to Central Plains athletic Director Pat Stiles, Jackie’s and Roxanne’s father.
Pat said that he remembers nine times since the 1980s that Claflin went to the state tournament.
“We’re got a few state championships hanging on the walls,” Holmes said. “Not just basketball, but football, volleyball, you name it. It is motivating, I think. You know, they think, ‘They pushed themselves hard, so I need to push just as hard.’
“What it comes down to is both teams had high expectations for themselves. Why would we alter that?”
Some people weren’t sure that the two schools could come together so quickly in hoops.
“I asked one of the girls, ‘Did you think back in November that we’d be going to state in March,’” Holmes said. “She said, ‘I thought we had the talent to do this, but I wasn’t sure if we could.’
“We set this goal for ourselves. Our shirts say ‘One team, one dream.’ That’s what we talked about (after winning a sub-state championship), making our dream a reality.”
Sydney Rugan, a 5-foot-8 senior post player, leads the Lady Oilers with 13 points and eight rebounds per game. Jennifer Hitschmann, a 6-0 junior, also scores in double figures with 11 points and five rebounds per game.
“Sydney is probably our most vocal leader,” Holmes said. “Then she backs it up on the court, obviously, leading us in points and rebounds. The other girls listen to her. She’s the one who tries to push the rest of the team.”


Girls’ basketball team statistics

Name                            Ppg      Rpg    Steals      Assists

Sydney Rugan                  13        8        1.8         2.2
Jennifer Hitschmann         11        5          1           1.5
Janae Hekele                  8.5      1.9         3            3
Linsey Woodmansee        7       1.7         3           2.5
Katie Hipp                       6         6         2.5        3.5
Miranda Burton              3.5       5          1           1.2
Breanna Holmes             2.3     1.7        2.2         1.6
Amanda Lewis               2.1     2.7        .5           .5
Abby Holmes                1.7      1.2        .5           1
Kendra Oberle                1        1          .5           .5
Kami Maxwell                 1       1.8       .5           .5
Brooke Burton                1        1         .5           .5

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