Shawnee Mission West made just nine of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter Friday night, but it was enough. Barely.
The Vikings edged Blue Valley 48-47 in a Kansas 6A girls substate basketball game at SM West.
“We were lucky,” SM West coach Scott Aldrich said. “We didn’t make our free throws allowing them to stay in the game.
“We got just one more bounce than they did. We are fortunate to come out on top.”
The victory sends the Vikings, 13-9, to the Class 6A state tournament March 12-15 in Wichita. it is their first trip to state since 2011.
The Vikings led 37-35 entering the fourth quarter, and the advantage was 47-44 after senior Anna Karlin made one free throw with 1 minute, 28 seconds left.
Tigers senior Sydnie Hansen attempted a three-pointer with 1:02 left, but it was blocked by 6-2 senior Marleah Campbell.
After SM West senior Chloe McMahon missed two free throws with 35 seconds left, Blue Valley sophomore Madison Newell made the first of two free throws at the 14-second mark.
She then fouled junior Morgan Mauck two seconds later, and Mauck made the second free throw, extending SM West’s lead to 48-45.
Blue Valley sophomore Katherine Retz rebounded a miss and scored at the buzzer for the final margin.
SM West led 28-23 at halftime and seemed in control of the game, but junior Gabrielle Gunnerson had four points and Newell had three in getting the Tigers back in the game in the third quarter.
It was the Vikings’ size advantage that allowed the, to lead at halftime. Campbell had 11 of her game-high 13 points in the first half.
“She played very well for us,” Aldrich said. “And Chloe McMahon did a good job guarding their best shooter Hansen.
The loss broke a streak of three consecutive trips to the state tournament for Blue Valley, which finished the season 11-11.
“We played very hard,” Tigers coach Ryan Mahoney said. “It was one of those years when it just didn’t work out.”
Newell was the leading scorer for the Tigers with 12 points.