CLAFLIN – No Emily Ryan? No problem!
All-stater Ryan departed to Iowa State University as the Central Plains girls basketball team graduated four starters who finished their careers with a 136-game winning streak.
Central Plains Oiler Brynna Hammeke scored 24 points to spark Friday's 55-25 non-league basketball victory over Hoisington. Defensive standout Kassidy Nixon was spectacular holding Hoisington's leading scorer Keeley Wolf to zero field goals.
Hammeke drilled a trio of 3-pointers and converted 11 free throws after smoothly driving to the basket to draw fouls. She scored 13 first-quarter points as the Oilers converted seven of eight possessions for a 25-11 first-quarter lead.
"It's important as a shooter if you can attack the basket and get to the free throw line," Hammeke said. "We were all nervous, but that was good. It was great to see we believe in what we're doing. We were most pleased with our defense."
Jennah Jeffrey scored 11 points and Nixon added nine points as the Oiler starters scored 53 of 55 points. The Oilers (1-0) extended the nation's third-longest winning streak to 137 games heading to Tuesday's game against Smith Center at the Russell Tournament.
Nixon scored off an opening steal and the Oilers' stifling man-to-man pressure converted turnovers into easy transition baskets. Ryenne Cunningham passed to Hammeke and Jennah Jeffrey for first-quarter assists. Nixon followed with an assist to Jeffrey.
"We were really pleased with our defensive effort," said Central Plains coach Pat Stiles. "Defensively, we were really good and forced turnovers. We executed our offense really well at the start."
Hoisington's Macy Hanzlick fed Suzanna Schneider for a 3-pointer and scored four points in an 11-point first quarter. But the Cardinals converted zero of 13 field goals in the second quarter against aggressive Oiler defense. The Oilers outscored the Cardinals 14-2 in the second quarter for a 39-13 halftime lead.
Stiles believed Nixon established a confident defensive tone with determined defense against Wolf.
"Kassidy is such a strong defender because she's athletic and quick," Stiles said. "Hoisington has some good players and they were hard to guard."
The Cardinals, with four starters returning, were led by Schneider with eight points and Hanzlick with five points. The Cardinals rushed their offense and frequently shot quickly with 3 of 23 3-point shooting.
"We rushed things and had too many empty possessions," said Hoisington coach Mandy Mason. "We had too many one-on-one plays and didn't work together."
The Cardinals played a confident style and shot the ball freely. Mason sees the potential.
"I love our team," she said. "We've got girls who battle and speed and quickness. We buckled down better after that first quarter."
Hoisington slowed the Oilers with a scrappy zone defense that delivered several steals off cross-court passes. Hoisington was outscored 16-11 after halftime, but forced the Oilers into nine turnovers the second half.
"We adjusted to zone and got to their shooters better," Mason said. "We struggled stopping them in our man-to-man."
The Cardinals (0-1) play Macksville (0-1) in Tuesday's Gene Keady Classic at Larned.
Hoisington 11 2 8 4 – 25
Central Plains 25 14 7 9 – 55
HOISINGTON (0-1)–Suzanna Schneider 3-6 0-0 8, Hanzlick 1-10 3-4 5, Addy Mason 1-6 0-0 3, Romeiser 1-6 1-2 3, Gonzalez 1-4 0-0 2, Brack 1-1 0-0 2, Keeley Wolf 0-15 1-3 1, Brewer 0-1 1-2 1, Colson 0-1 0-0 0, Guthrie 0-4 0-1 0, Totals 8-54 6-12 25.
CENTRAL PLAINS (1-0)–Brynna Hammeke 5-11 11-12 24, Jennah Jeffrey 4-8 2-4 11, Kassidy Nixon 4-7 0-0 9, Lexi Oeser 2-9 0-0 6, Cunningham 1-2 1-2 3, Short 1-2 0-0 2, Zink 0-2 0-0 0, Metro 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 17-43 14-18 55.
3-pointers–H 3-23 (Schneider 2-4, Mason 1-6, Gonzalez 0-1, Hanzlick 0-2, Guthrie 0-2, Wolf 0-8), CP 7-18 (Hammeke 3-7, Lexi Oeser 2-8, Jeffrey 1-1, Nixon 1-1, Metro 0-1).