Sacred Heart 48, Hutch Trinity 35
Emilee Everett hit 9 of 13 from the free throw line and led all scorers with 19 points, and the Lady Knights used outstanding defense to avenge a regular season loss to the Lady Celtics and in doing so, advanced to the semis of the Class 2A Ell-Saline Sub-State Tournament.
Both teams traded the lead in the first quarter, neither side led by more than a bucket and it was Hutch Trinity with the slim 11-10 lead after eight minutes.
Hutch Trinity played a 1-3-1 zone defense and the Knights did a good job of passing the ball and finding openings in the zone to attack. At first, they found success from the perimeter as Teghan Slagle, Ellie Woodall and Ella Gotti each hit threes which got the Knights off and running in the second quarter. Slagle would add another trey for a 26-19 lead, forcing the Celtics to take a timeout. Sacred Heart would lead 28-22 at halftime.
In the second half, the Knights would rely on their defense to stymie Trinity and their leading scorer, Hayley Hughes. Sacred Heart played the passing lanes extremely well, moved their feet and forced difficult shots. On the offensive end, Trinity played their zone further up the floor to take away the perimeter shots of the Knights. To counter, the Sacred Heart guards moved the ball until they could expose the back end of the zone. The recipient was Everett. She made 6 of 8 free throws in the third quarter alone, and coupled with a pair of field goals from Woodall, the Knights took a 40-27 lead to the fourth quarter.
The defense continued to shine for Sacred Heart (11-7) and they were never threatened the rest of the way. Slagle joined Everett in double figures with 12 points and Woodall scored eight. Hughes led Trinity (9-12) with 17, but was still held to nearly six points below her season scoring average.
The No. 3 seed Knights will next take on No. 2 seed Moundridge, who eliminated Inman, 53-38. That game will be played on Friday.