HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Claflin 59, Macksville 34
Jena Clowers 2 3-4 7, Keira Parr 6 1-2 15, Yasnaya Suseoff 3 0-0 8, Kristina Murphy 0 0-0 0, Kristal Duft 1 0-1 2, Jennifer Roach 0 0-0 0, Melissa Espino 0 0-0 0, Brianna Evans 0 0-0 0, Selena Galan 0 0-0 0, Mindy Wood 1 0-0 2, Alexis Johnson 0 0-0 0, Alex Ponce 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-7 34.
Morgan Hekele 4 0-0 9, Janae Hekele 1 0-0 2, Ashlee Maier 8 2-3 18, Courtney Liebl 3 1-1 7, Breanna Holmes 0 1-2 1, Katie Hipp 1 6-6 8, Sydney Rugan 1 2-4 4, Becca Oberle 0 0-0 0, Abby Holmes 1 0-0 2, Megan Schloctermeier 0 0-0 0, Amanda Lewis 0 0-0 0, Natalie Hoffman 4 0-0 8, Jennifer Hitschmann 0 0-0 0, Nikki Demel 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 12-16 59.
Macksville 9 4 10 11 — 34
Claflin 20 12 14 13 — 59
Three-point goals — Macksville 4 (Parr 2, Susoeff 2); Claflin 1 (M. Hekele 1).
CLAFLIN — Going into the game Friday night, both the Claflin High School girls’ basketball team and the Macksville Lady Mustangs had something to defend.
Claflin is ranked No. 6 in Class 1A Division-I in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association’s latest poll released on Dec. 20.
Macksville’s girls were protecting a perfect 7-0 record.
Something had to change, and the Lady Wildcats’ 59-34 win put the lone blemish on the Lady Mustangs season and put a feather in Claflin’s cap when the next KBCA poll is released.
But, as Claflin’s head coach Toby Holmes said, the win isn’t without a catch.
“There also needs to be an asterisk by that, too,” Lady Wildcats head coach Toby Holmes said of knocking off an undefeated team. “I mean, (Megan) Wood, I don’t know if she’s their heart, but she is a big part of that team.
“It’s tough to just throw somebody off the bench into that spot. This isn’t the NBA where you can just grab somebody and say, oh, you’re next.”
Megan Wood is out with a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament in her knee and isn’t expected back for eight weeks.
Even if Macksville had its leading scorer, Claflin still had the height advantage with Natalie Hoffman (5-foot-11) and Ashlee Maier (5-10).
It was Maier who got the Lady Wildcats started, scoring 12 of Claflin’s 20 first-quarter points. Maier finished with a game-high 18 points.
On the other side of the court, Macksville’s offense looked sluggish, struggling to get shots to fall and getting down the court. The Lady Mustangs finished the first quarter with only nine points.
“I thought our defense looked pretty solid,” Holmes said. “They created some turnovers, and sometimes we think that we have to steal the ball or we have to tip the ball, but sometimes, you just make them go faster than they want to, that creates problems.
“I thought there were times that they didn’t look like forced turnovers but we were making them go just a little bit faster than they wanted to go.
Jena Clowers, who finished the game with seven points, scored the Lady ’Stangs first four points on a jumper and two free throws.
Yasnaya Susoeff added a 3-pointer, one of two in the game, and finished the game with eight points.
The Lady Wildcats furthered their lead, outscoring Macksville 12-4 in the second quarter to give Claflin a 32-13 lead at half.
““They pushed us outside of our offense,” Lady Mustangs head coach Kathryn McAllister said. “We could never get anything started. I thought we had a good game plan, but we didn’t execute it very well.”
In the second half, Keira Parr, who led Macksville with 15 points, tried to boost her team to a rally by scoring 11, but Claflin’s perimeter shooting and inside presence giving the Lady Wildcats second chances kept them ahead.
“I think we rebounded well tonight,” Holmes said. “That was one of our keys tonight. There was really no reason for us to get outrebounded. We had three girls taller than anybody they had and if we would just get in good position than there would be no reason that we shouldn’t get the rebound.”
Katie Hipp came off the bench for Claflin to score eight points, including a 6-for-6 from the free-throw line.
Claflin travels to Quivira Heights and Macksville is back in action at La Crosse on Tuesday night.