EMPORIA — After a two-minute, 39-second possession, Hoxie High School’s girls’ basketball team got a layup courtesy of Danel Stithem with 1:29 remaining, putting the Lady Indians ahead 44-41.
A missed 3-pointer from St. John-Hudson led to Hoxie knocking down 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute to salt away a 47-41 win in a Class 1A Division-I state tournament semifinal game on Friday afternoon at White Auditorium in Emporia.
“We did everything we could,” St. John head coach Danny Smith said. “The girls played their tails off. They defended real well. We missed some easy shots that could’ve helped us.
“Hoxie deserves it. We gave them a better game than I think people thought we would. We held them to fewer points than they thought we would.”
Leading by one point, Hoxie’s Gabriel Spresser dropped down a 3-pointer to open the second half, sparking a 7-0 run.
Hoxie’s Carly Heim scored the next four points with a pair of layups to make it 28-20.
St. John only cut into that lead by one at the end of the third quarter, trailing Hoxie, which beat the Lady Tigers in a state championship game last season, 37-30.
St. John’s only 3-pointer, a high-arcing shot by Morgan Osborne opened the final eight minutes with an 11-4 run to cut the lead to 42-41 with 4:08 remaining.
Alexis Witt got a steal on an inbounds pass for a quick two points for the Lady Tigers, followed by Spresser knocking down a shot on the other end.
St. John got the ball inside to Teresa Christie for a layup, followed up by two points from Heim on the other end.
Witt and Christie each posted up for two points to finish the run, but the Lady Indians’ next possession concluded with two points from Stithem with 1:29 remaining, cutting into the Lady Tigers’ momentum.
Witt led the Lady Tigers with 12 points, and Christie followed with 10.
“Our guards did a good job getting them the ball,” Smith said. “They did a good job in the second half. If we could’ve finished a couple more earlier in the game, that certainly could’ve helped us a lot.”
St. John senior guard Jamie Waters finished with eight points and 13 rebounds.
A 6-0 run gave the Lady Tigers a 10-6 lead with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter.
St. John’s Waters book-ended the run with a layup and a putback, and Osborne, who finished with nine points, drove in for a layup.
The two teams traded baskets before the Lady Indians closed the quarter with two points.
The Lady Tigers got a shot in the paint from Christie, who was in foul trouble early on, and a pair of free throws from Jessica Hanson to go ahead 16-10 in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
Hoxie responded with a 9-0 run capped by a Heim 3-pointer, the only trey in the first half, to give the Lady Indians a 19-16 lead.
Hoxie led 21-20 at intermission.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Class 1A Division-I
Hoxie 47, St. John-Hudson 41
ST. JOHN (21-3)
Tia Smith 0-2 0-0 0, Morgan Osborne 4-12 0-0 9, Jamie Waters 4-7 0-0 8, Alexis Witt 5-7 2-3 12, Teresa Christie 5-7 0-2 10, Jessica Hanson 0-0 2-2 2, Tara Christie 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-38 4-7 41.
Gabriel 3-6 1-2 9, Danel Stithem 5-7 0-0 10, Carly Heim 6-8 0-0 13, Kristina Farber 1-7 5-6 7, Lexi Schamberger 3-7 0-0 6, Terran Hoyt 1-2 0-0 0, Sarah Farber 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-38 6-8 47.
St. John 12 8 10 11 — 41
Hoxie 10 11 16 10 — 47
Three-point goals — St. John 1-8 (Osborne 1-4, Smith 0-2, Waters 0-2); Hoxie 3-8 (Spresser 2-4, Heim 1-2, Stithem 0-1, Hoyt 0-1). Total fouls — St. John 15, Hoxie 11. Fouled out — St. John (Osborne); Hoxie (K. Farber).