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T-Wade, St. John shoot down Waverly

Class 1A D-I State Basketball Tournament

POSTED March 11, 2012 12:20 a.m.

EMPORIA — Gimmick defenses sometimes are the great neutralizer.
St. John High School showed its wares Friday night during a Class 1A Division-I state basketball tournament semifinal at White Auditorium. The Lady Tigers utilized a triangle-and-two defense in clamping down on Waverly’s Ashley Romig and Paige Meader for a 54-43 victory over the Bulldogs to advance to Saturday’s final against Hoxie.
Maybe Waverly (22-3) should have tried a box-and-one on St. John star Teresa Wade, who buried 8 of 10 shots on an array of mid-range jump shots for a game-high 21 points. Or maybe the Bulldogs should have tried a triangle-and-two in an effort to contain Wade and shooting guard Jamie Waters, who scored 15 points for the Lady Tigers.
Meanwhile, St. John’s defense harried Waverly into 18 turnovers, held the Bulldogs to only 16 for 47 shooting (34 percent) and kept them out of arm’s reach after building a 10-1 lead in the game’s opening minutes.
The difference was Wade, a superlative senior, as the Lady Tigers advanced to the state title game for the second time in four seasons under fourth-year head coach Danny Smith.
“I’ve been pushing her for four years and if you asked her, she’ll tell you the same thing,” Smith said of Wade. “The poor thing. Her mom (Trish Wade) is our assistant coach and (Teresa) doesn’t get any sympathy from her, either.
“We’ve just begged her to attack the basket ever since she was a freshman or sophomore and she’s got better and better. Wow … tonight, she did a great job of just attacking and making them try to stop her.”
On the opposite side of the ledger, Romig still managed a double-double — 15 points and 15 rebounds, along with four assists and three steals. But Meader missed seven of nine shots and finished with only seven points.
Wade’s presence in the paint was also a major factor.
“She is a really good player and as good as an offensive player that she is, she’s probably better on defense and that’s something that never shows up in the boxscore,” he said.
After Morgan Osborne’s driving layup gave St. John a 10-1 lead at the 2:40 mark in the first quarter, Waverly finally got into the flow and went on a 9-2 run, capped by Romig’s bucket, to close the gap to 12-10 with 28.6 seconds left in the period. It was 13-10 Lady Tigers after the opening eight minutes.
St. John snapped a 19-all deadlock late in the second quarter, scoring the final five points to seize a 24-19 lead at halftime after Waters drained her second 3-pointer and Wade made a shot from the baseline.
The Lady Tigers then opened the third quarter with an 8-2 surge for a 32-21 lead, a gap they maintained the rest of the way.
Wade had a pair of baskets and freshman Teresa Christie had a pair of layups at the outset of the third quarter.
“We’ve really had good third quarters the past three games,” Smith said, “and when we went into the locker room at halftime, we talked about it and I think the girls are starting to believe that they can turn it on in the third quarter.”
St. John, 23-2, making its third state tourney appearance in the last four seasons, will be gunning for the second state crown in school history. The Lady Tigers won it all in 2009 at Gross Memorial Coliseum in Hays, Smith’s first season.
 “When I went into the locker room, the girls were just sitting there completely quiet and treating it like just another game,” said Smith of his team’s mood after beating Waverly. “I told them if you’re not excited, I am.
“Being there at the state tournament in basketball two of the last three years now and being at state in volleyball the past four years and winning it in three out of the four … they’ve played in big games and they just expect (to win). Anything less, they’re going to be disappointed.”


Class 1A Division-I
State Tournament

At Emporia
White Auditorium




St. John 54, Waverly 43
 ST. JOHN (23-2)

     Morgan Osborne 2-5 1-1 5, Jamie Waters 3-6 7-8 15, Teresa Christie 2-3 2-4 6, Alexis Witt 3-7 0-0 6, Teresa Wade 8-10 5-6 21, Tia Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Jessica Hanson 0-1 0-0 0, Haley Falk 0-0 0-0 0, Rhian Collins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-36 16-21 54.
WAVERLY (22-3)

     Katherine Graham 3-3 0-3 6, Ashley Romig 5-19 5-8 15, Paige Meader 2-9 2-2 7, Erin Zilliox 2-4 0-0 4, Shannon Lee 1-7 0-0 2, Hali Blackbourn 0-0 0-0 0, Lacie Clarkson 0-0 0-0 0, Catherine Chapman 3-5 1-2 8. Totals 16-47 8-15 43.
St. John         13  11  14  16  —  54
Waverly          10   9    7   17  —  43

    Three-point goals — Waverly 3-9 (Lee 1-6, Meader 1-2, Chapman 1-1); St. John 2-8 (Waters 2-5, Hanson 0-1, Christie 0-1, Osborne 0-1). Rebounds — Waverly 30 (Romig 15); St. John 26 (Witt 6, Osborne 5). Assists — Waverly 12 (Romig 4, Lee 4); St. John 11 (Waters 5, Osborne 3, Wade 2, Witt 1). Turnovers — Waverly 18, St. John 17.


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