Over the years, St. Thomas Aquinas has built quite the reputation. The Saints added to their state-leading streak, making the state tournament for the 24th consecutive season.
STA made sure the trip to the capital city wasn’t a short one.
Aquinas had four players in double figures, Central was limited to 23 percent from the field, and the Saints eliminated the Lady Mustangs from the Class 5A state tournament with a 57-30 victory at the Kansas Expocentre. The two-time defending state champions move on to the semifinals to face AVCTL-I foe Maize on Friday.
St. Thomas Aquinas (21-2) opened the game with a 6-0 spurt. Central countered with three triples, knotting up the score a 9-9. The second-seeded Saints answered with a banked-in trey at the buzzer from junior Blythe Pearson, giving them a 12-9 cushion.
SC’s next two buckets were threes, the last coming from senior Myah Ward to trim the deficit down to five. Aquinas took control of the contest from there, going on a 15-0 run to lead 35-15 at the break.
The Saints pounded the paint, scoring 30 of their 57 in the post. Sereena Weledji paced STA with 17 points and seven rebounds. Alayna Townsell provided 16 while Allison Thomas had a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards.
Central had one double-digit scorer in senior Elisa Backes, who closed out her Mustang career with 10 points, but on 4-of-18 shooting. Backes, Ward and Ellie Cobb move on to college sports next year after finishing at Central with a 15-8 record.