Although spring break has delayed some of the celebration for the Bishop Miege High School girls basketball team, it has not dampened the excitement for Shelbe Piggie. After all, she was a key component in the Stags’ Kansas Class 4A Division I state championship run.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Piggie said.
Despite having only one senior on the roster, the Stags had a 22-3 record this season and won their first state title since 2009. It was the 17th state title for Miege under coach Terry English.
“We knew going into it that we were going to be a smaller team than some of the teams in the EKL (Eastern Kansas League) and state, so it kind of motivated us to work harder,” Piggie said. “We worked really hard when we were on the floor, and us doing well on defense turned into us doing well on offense.”
The Stags cruised through their substate bracket with 20-point victories against both De Soto and Bonner Springs to advance to the state tournament. Once there, Miege used its oppressive brand of defense to defeat McPherson and Andover Central, before knocking off previously undefeated Wamego 57-41 to take home the state title.
Perhaps the most promising aspect of the state title is the fact that the Stags will return everyone but Lexie Villegas next season. The returners next season will include five seniors, five juniors and a sophomore, all of whom made the trip to the state tournament this year. Piggie and junior Madeline Homoly, each of whom scored in double-figures in the team’s three victories at state, will lead the crop of returners.
“It’s sad that we’re losing our one senior, but I know that next year, since we’ll have most of our girls back, we should be in really good shape,” Piggie said. “We’ll already know what we’re working with.”