It was swiftly decided, without a lot of drama.
The South Central Timberwolves girls basketball team rolled through the Minneola Wildcats Thursday night in the teams’ first-round sub-state game at Dodge City Community College.
Final score: South Central 57, Minneola 20.
Timberwolves senior Bri Rutherford had a game-high 27 points.
None of those came in the fourth quarter, 11 of them came in a first quarter in which the Timberwolves quickly seized control of the game, jumping out to a 17-0 lead before the Wildcats scored a 2-point basket with about 2:34 left in the quarter.
South Central led 18-6 at the end of the first, 37-12 at halftime and 49-18 at the end of the third quarter. They advance to play Pretty Prairie in the Sub-State Championship Game in a game scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.
Pretty Prairie beat Ingalls 53-43 in the earlier game Thursday.
South Central entered Thursday’s game coming off a 51-29 win against Cunningham in the Regional Championship game last Saturday. Cunningham had made it to State last year in the 1A DII State playoffs before the two 1A divisions were consolidated ahead of this season.
South Central head coach Tim Rietzke saw a difference between how is team played against Cunningham and how they played Thursday night, and he seemed far from happy with the latter.
“We just basically went through the motions,” Rietzke said. “We played really well Saturday night, and we told them that they did a really good job, so I guess they think that means we don’t every have to get better at anything.”
For Minneola, sophomore Megan Schneweis had a team-high 5 points. Senior Kaitlyn Hornback and freshman Cindy Holt each had 4.
“I thought we just showed up and basically we won because we had more talent than the other team, not because we outworked them or outcoached them or outtoughed them. We just had more talent,” Rietzke said. “At some point, that will get you sent home.”
In the other game against Ingalls, Pretty Prairie freshman Aubrey Young had a team-high 14 points, and freshman Jorah Harbaugh had 8, while Prairie senior Morgan Schrag had 13.
Those three, plus senior Blair Hollenbeck (who had 11) all combined to stretch out the Ingalls defense Thursday night.
“They’re going to play hard, they’re pretty well organized,” Rietzke said about Pretty Prairie.
But much of how Saturday’s game goes will depend upon whether or not South Central plays as good as they are capable of.
“We’ve seen a lot of good teams all year, a lot of it is just what we do. Are we going defend? Are we going to board? How much energy are we going to bring?” Rietzke said. “I think they’ve got a nice team, perfectly capable of beating us, it’s just more what do we do? How do we approach the game?”
- South Central: 18, 19, 12, 8 - 57
- Minneola: 6, 6, 6, 2 - 20
Player stats (FTs made, FTs attempted, Points)
- South Central: Snyder 2-4, 4; Rutherford 1-2, 27 ; Martin 2-2, 2; Peterson 4-4, 6; Moore 0-0, 2; Sierra Jellison 1-3, 7; Lohrding 0-0, 2; Jordyn Jellison 1-3, 7
- Minneola: Lang 3-4, 3; Wideman 0-0, 2; Kaitlyn Hornback 2-2, 4; Norton 0-0, 2; Cindy Holt 0-0, 4; Schneweis 3-5, 5