Both the girls and boys teams were in action tonight on the campus of Kansas Wesleyan University. They played Halstead in the finals for the season opening Tri-County Classic championship game. Halstead went into both the girls and boys games heavy favorites, ranked 8th and 2nd in the 3A class respectively.
Looking at the rosters of both teams, it was easy to see why Halstead was favored the way they were. The girls team featured a 6 foot tall sophomore Karenna Gerber with guard skills. The boys team had 6’5″ senior Andrew O’Brien with similar skills, and a 44 point game under his belt early in the season.
All things considered, the girls team came out firing, leading Halstead 16-12 going into halftime. Seniors Karisma Vignery and Kylie Fuller led the way for their teams, contributing all 16 points in the first half. On the Halstead side of the court, Gerber performed as expected, putting up 8 points in the first half.
Coming out of the locker room, the girls hoped to put up a third quarter reminiscent of the 3rd quarters in the first two games of the Tri-County Classic, where they outscored their opponents a combined 24-6. Unfortunately, the Dragons had other plans, and outscored the Lions 16-6.
The fourth quarter was fun to watch, with a late 3 pointer by Kersti Nelson, and some clutch free throws by Kylie Fuller keeping the game close. It was simply not to be however, and the Dragons dodged the upset. Final score 37-34.
Based on rankings, the boys team had an even bigger challenge ahead of them, but coach John Darrow had other plans. The first quarter was a hard fought battle, and though the score was 12-10 Dragons, a spectator would have thought Halstead was leading by more than that. Halstead came roaring out of the gates with back to back three pointers by Lakin Farmer, and Andrew O’Brien.
It continued to rain 3’s in the second half for the Dragons, with all 9 of their points coming from converted 3 point attempts. The Lions answered with good basketball, and effort plays down low, and went into the locker room down 4 points (23-19).
In the second half, Minneapolis came out playing hard, and made things interesting, even taking cutting the lead to 1 on the 3 pointer from Kaden McCullick. Minneapolis played good defense, only allowing 4 field goals. However, free throws did them in, and they lost the game 47-43.