Lady Cubs handle Wildcats in substate

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
Humboldt High’s Lenzie Boring (30) puts a shot up over the defense of Yates Center High’s Autumn Douglas (20) in the crowded lane. Boring helped lead the Lady Cubs to a 51-27 win over the Wildcats in Humboldt Tuesday. The win came in the opening round of the Class 2A substate advancing Humboldt in postseason play.

HUMBOLDT — It took about a quarter of play to kick it into gear for Humboldt High’s Lady Cubs Monday. But they were able to stay out in front of a short-handed Yates Center High Wildcat team.
The Lady Cubs rolled to a 44-15 advantage after three quarters and coasted the rest of the way to a 51-27 win. The victory over visiting Yates Center came in the opening round of the Kansas Class 2A Substate Basketball Tournament.
Humboldt (13-8) was the No. 3 seed in the substate hosted by Northeast High at Arma. The Lady Cubs now travel to Arma for the tournament semifinals Friday.
Awaiting the Lady Cubs will be No. 2 seeded Oswego, which defeated Northeast 56-38 Tuesday. Tipoff is at 6 p.m. at Northeast High School.
The 2A substate championship game is at 6 p.m. Saturday at Arma. The tournament champion advances to the Kansas Class 2A State Basketball Tournament in Manhattan next week.
“We did start out slow. We were very cold shooting the ball but from the outset our players did a good job rebounding the basketball,” said Jeff Wilkerson, Humboldt head coach.
“We were able to get a lot of second chance and sometimes third chance baskets by working the boards.”
Rebounding was a big factor early on according to Yates Center High head coach Leon Weber.
“They killed us on the boards. Humboldt did an excellent job rebounding at both ends of the court,” Weber said.
Humboldt got on the board with a basket by Rachel Green at the 6:23 mark of the first quarter. Yates Center missed four straight freethrow attempts before Lenzie Boring had a three-point play for the Lady Cubs.
Humboldt led 7-0 when Yates Center’s Kassy Reynolds scored with 3:01 on the clock. Drew Spencer’s basket made it 7-4.
The Lady Cubs pushed their lead to 12-4 on a basket by Megan Dillow and a three-pointer by Boring. The Wildcats were hanging on as Autumn Douglas connected to make it 12-6 heading into the second quarter.
Humboldt pulled away a 16-5 scoring surge in the second quarter. Yates Center had a basket by Maggie German at the 3:36 mark and a three-pointer by Caitlin Ralstin at the 1:10 mark.
The Lady Cubs opened a 28-11 halftime lead.
The Lady Cubs outscored the Wildcats 16-4 in the third quarter to go up 44-15. Wilkerson sent in his reserves to play the final eight minutes.
Yates Center was without senior Taylor Heffern. Heffern, who has been the Wildcats’ leading scorer this season, injured her knee in the final regular season game at West Elk last Thursday.
“Losing Taylor really took away our court leadership. Our girls tried hard to fill that void on the court,” Weber said.
Humboldt was led by senior guard Kelci Owens with 16 points. Owens is closing in on the HHS girls’ career scoring record, 14 points shy of tying Julie Woods’ mark of 1,062 points.
Boring added 13 points. The Lady Cubs were 13 of 20 from the free-throw line.
Yates Center got six points from Douglas, a sophomore. German, a junior, added four points. The Wildcats were 2 of 12 at the line.
“I wish Humboldt the best in substate play. It would be great to have a Tri-Valley League team get to state,” Weber said.
Yates Center finished at 4-17 overall. The Wildcats were 1-13 in TVL play.
Heffern sat on the Wildcat bench Tuesday night with her right leg propped up. She said she found out Tuesday she tore her anterior cruciate ligament and the meniscus cartilage in her right knee.
She said she’s to have surgery and will miss the spring softball season for Yates Center. Heffern has been the Wildcats’ top pitcher for several years. She signed to play softball at Washburn University in Topeka next year.
Humboldt (12-16-16-7—51) (FG/3-pt): Bartlett 1-0-0-2, Green 2-0-1-4, Owens 3/1-7-2-16, Dillow 1-2-2-4, Wells 1-1-1-3, Boring 4/1-2-1-13, Young 0-0-1-0, Hauser 0-0-1-0, Umholtz 3-1-1-7, Davidson 0-0-1-0, McCall 1-0-1-2. TOTALS: 16/2-13-12-51.
Yates Center (6-5-4-12—27) (FG/3-pt): Hartwig 0/1-0-3-3, German 2-0-5-4, Surles 1-0-1-2, Ralstin 0/1-0-0-3, Reynolds 1-0-3-2, Douglas 2-2-0-6, Shaffer 0-0-3-0, Spencer 1-0-1-2, Estes 1/1-0-1-5. TOTALS: 8/3-2-17-27.