CLAFLIN — Down 40-39 with one minute, 50 seconds remaining, Jamie Waters knocked down a 3-pointer for the St. John High School girls’ basketball team.
It sent the Lady Tigers, who are ranked No. 1 in Class 1A Division-I in the latest Kansas Basketball Coaches Association poll, past Central Plains 47-40 on Friday night.
“Jamie hit the 3,” St. John head coach Danny Smith said. “We drew up the play in the huddle, and I basically wanted Morgan to drive because they had been really collapsing on her when she did. I wanted her to drive and kick it out to Jamie, and she did.
“Jamie hit the 3, and made me look good. From there on out, we got a couple of stops and I knew we could hit some free throws.”
After taking a 42-40 lead on Waters’ trey, St. John hit 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to maintain its lead.
“I thought we competed very well,” Central Plains head coach Toby Holmes said. “We played hard. I thought we did the things we needed to do to be in the ball game and we were in the ball game clear to the end. They made a shot at the end and made their free throws and that was the difference in the game.
“It was a much closer game than seven points, I’ll tell you that.”
Thanks to an 11-1 run in the second quarter, featuring 3-pointers from Morgan Osborne and Jessie Hanson, as well as a three-point play from Teresa Wade, the Lady Tigers took a 26-20 lead into halftime.
Osborne finished with a game-high 18 points. Wade, who was in foul trouble during the first half of the game, joined her in double figures with 10.
Central Plains tied the game at 33 with an 8-1 run that closed the third quarter and opened the fourth.
Sydney Rugan, who led Central Plains with 16 points, got the Lady Oilers started with a layup. Janae Hekele hit a pair of free throws, and Breanna Holmes and Amanda Lewis each scored two points in the run.
Both teams traded points until Waters, who finished with game with seven points, hit her lead-claiming 3.
Smith said that he thought that winning this game would help his team during the final stretch of the season.
“Well, I don’t think we played very well, but honest-to-goodness in the long run, I think winning game like this will help us out,” Smith said. “It shows that we can play without Teresa for as long as we did and pull it out. I am really proud of the girls effort.”
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
St. John 47, Central Plains 40
ST. JOHN (12-1)
Jessie Hanson 1 0-0 3, Morgan Osborne 4 9-17 18, Jamie Waters 1 4-4 7, Tara Christie 1 1-1 2, Teresa Christie 0 1-2 1, Rhian Collins 0 0-0 0, Alexis Witt 3 0-0 6, Teresa Wade 3 4-7 10. Totals 13 18-31 47.
CENTRAL PLAINS (9-5)
Jennifer Hitschmann 1 1-4 3, Sydney Rugan 5 6-9 16, Janae Hekele 2 2-4 8, Lindsey Woodmansee 2 1-2 5, Breanna Holmes 1 1-3 3, Katie Hipp 1 1-2 3, Amanda Lewis 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 12-24 40.
St. John 12 14 7 14 — 47
Central Plains 6 14 11 9 — 40
Three-point goals — St. John 3 (Hanson, Osborne, Waters); Central Plains 2 (Hekele 2).