Lady Jays State Bound!

The St. John's/Tipton Lady Jays captured the 2018 Class 1A Division II Sub-State Championship title on Saturday after a 51-35 win over the Northern Valley Lady Huskies. The No. 2 seed Lady Jays (19-4) are now State-bound on Thursday for a 3 p.m. tip-off against the No. 7 seed Axtell (13-9) team at the Dodge City Event Center. Winners will advance to the 3 p.m. game on Friday with Championship games on Saturday.

The St. John's/Tipton Lady Jays last State championship title was in 2015. They appeared in 2011 and lost in the first round to Ingalls and returned in 2014 for another first round loss to Bucklin in overtime play. 

"We have really come together as a team as of late and we are making our teammates better," said Lady Jay Coach Keith Kresin. "The biggest key is we have accepted our roles on the team and we are feeding off of everyone's strengths. If we play as well as we did at Sub-state we could make some noise at State."

The Lady Jays roster of 12 players advanced to the Sub-State championship game after their Friday win over the Palco Lady Rooste's team of eight, 67-26.  

The game opened with a three pointer by Lauryn Dubbert. A free throw by senior Avery Gates was followed by the Lady Roosters first two points. The Lady Jays then went on an eight point run to claim a 12-2 lead. After another Palco score, the Jays went on a 10 point run to end the first quarter, leading 22-4.

The second quarter saw the Lady Roosters pick up their scoring pace as they scored 11 points, seven of those points at the free-throw line. Meanwhile, St. John's/Tipton scored 15 points in the quarter as Coach Kresin started using his bench. Lady Jays led 37-15.

St. John's/Tipton dominated at the start of the third quarter when they scored the first 10 points claiming a 32 point lead. They scored 24 points in the third quarter while holding the Roosters to five and led 61-20  going into the final quarter.

The fourth quarter was played with a running clock and Kresin used his entire bench, with nine of 12 players scoring, as they closed out 67-26 victory.

"I was really pleased by the way, we were focused on this game and came out and executed and never let down," said Kresin.

Lauryn Dubbert and Kara Eilert led for Lady Jays, who were in double figures with 15 points apiece. Avery Gates and Erica Brummer joined them in double figures with 10 points each. Elle Eilert scored 7 points and led the team with 15 rebounds. Tara Ellenz scored 5 points; Emily Keonigsman and Caitlin Strong 2 points each;  Emily Eilert 1 point.

Sub-state championship game

St. John's/Tipton Lady Blujays challenged the Lady Huskies from Northern Valley during Saturday's Sub-state championship game as they relied on a strong inside game.

Four minutes into the game it looked like the Lady Jays inside game was forced to go to the bench when Kara Eilert picked up her third foul.

When Eilert went to the bench, the Lady Jays were trailing 9-2. Her teammates picked up the slack  and rallied to claim a well-deserved 51-35 victory against a very good team.

The game opened and the Lady Huskies employed a full-court press which the Lady Jays handled well and also played outstanding defense. 

The first points of the game were scored by the Huskies with a pair of free throws. After a basket by Lady Jay Gates, the Huskies had three baskets including a three pointer to claim a 9-2 lead. It was at this point that Kara Eilert picked up her third foul and wouldn't see action again until the fourth quarter. Dubbert then scored six straight points for the Lady Jays while their defense held the Huskies to a free-throw. First-quarter scoring was completed when Elle Eilert hit a basket that tied the score at 10.

Clawing their way back into the game seemed to give the Lady Jays a spark. They started the second quarter with baskets by Tara Ellenz and Dubbert to claim a four-point lead. After a Lady Huskies basket the Jays extended that lead to seven points. The Huskies then scored six straight points to close the gap to one. A basket by Elle Eilert and a three pointer by Gates as the horn sounded, sent the teams to the locker rooms at halftime with St. John's/Tipton, leading 24-18.

The third quarter opened with the teams essentially trading baskets until the midpoint of the quarter when the Huskies trailed 29 -24. The Lady Jays then scored consecutive three-pointers, one by Erica Brummer and one by Dubbert along with a regular basket by Gates that pushed the Jays lead to 13 points. At the end of the quarter St. John's/Tipton led 39-28.

The fourth quarter started with the Lady Huskies scoring the first five points to cut the lead to six. Another three pointer by Dubbert and a basket by Elle Eilert pushed the Jays lead back to 11. Meanwhile, the Jays defense held the Northern Valley to just seven points in the quarter. Trailing and with time running out the Lady Huskies started fouling sending the Jays to the free-throw line. With Kara Eilert back in the game she rebounded the missed free throws and scored on put backs. The Lady Jays played by far their best game of the season on the way to a 51-35 victory.

"Our defense played well holding their best shooter to six points and controlling the boards was the key in taking care of the basketball against the press," said Kresin. "With Kara in foul trouble, Tara Ellenz came in and did an outstanding job in the most minutes she has played this year." It was a great team win." 

The Lady Blujays were led in scoring by Lauryn Dubbert with 21 points. She also had 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal. Elle Eilert scored in double figures with 10 points, but it was on the boards were she stood out with 24 rebounds. She also had 2 steals. Avery Gates led the floor game and scored 9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals. Kara Eilert scored 5 points, 5 rebounds; Erica Brummer 3 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal; Tara Ellenz 3 points 10 rebounds, and 1 steal.

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