Bishop Miege built a 20-point, first-half lead and then watched most of it disappear in the fourth quarter.
That’s when the Stags put the ball in Shelbe Piggie’s hands. Piggie pulled Miege out of the fire and into the Class 4A girls championship with a 64-52 win over Andover Central on Friday afternoon in the semifinals.
Miege will face Wamego for the title on Saturday.
Piggie had 26 points and five assists. She scored her team’s final eight points as the Stags pulled away.
Early on things went well for Mieges. Using their tenacious 2-2-1 zone press, the Stags, 21-3, ran rampant in the first quarter, turning the Jaguars over 11 times and racing to a 23-5 lead. During the first 10 minutes, the Stags forced 15 turnovers and converted them into 21 points.
But Andover Central, 19-5, began solving the Stag press in the second period and closed within nine at the break, 29-20.
“We’ve worked hard on that press all season long,” Miege coach Terry English said. “It works pretty good. We’re quick, and we get some good opportunities when we get our hands on the ball.”
But it was the Jaguars who began to take command in the third quarter, closing on a 12-4 run and reducing their deficit to single digits, 44-37.
Central trimmed the Miege lead to three on two occasions in the final quarter.
That’s when English spread the floor and put the ball in Piggie’s hands.
“We were running clock, we were in the one-and-one,” English said. “(Piggie) was hitting her free throws, and we were just going to ride that out.”
In that final period, Piggie scored 15 of her team’s 20 points, including seven of eight at the line.
Tristen McFeders had 15 points for Miege, and Madeline Homoly added 12. Skylar Snodgrass was the top scorer for the Jauars with 18.
Miege forced 24 turnovers in the game, scoring 34 points off of them.Wamego 52 Piper 39
Unbeaten, top ranked and defending champion Wamego advanced to the championship game against Miege with a 52-39 win over Piper in the second semifinal.
Once again it was the 6-3 bookend sisters, Kaylee and Lanie Page who propelled the Raiders to their 24th straight win and 49th over two seasons, but they had help in this one in the person of Caitlin Claussen.
Lanie, a junior, turned in her second double-double of the tournament with 18 points and 12 rebounds and three blocked shots. Kaylee, a senior, added 11 points, seven rebounds and a block.
But it was Claussen, a 5-11 junior, who was the X-factor. She totaled 13 points and seven rebounds.
Piper, 20-4, remained close until the Raiders went on a 10-2 run and opened a 40-24 lead with 3:27 left in the third period.
The Pirates trimmed their deficit to seven, 44-37, on a Carley Zwart jumper with 3:13 to go in the game, but could get no closer. Jessica Wayne led Piper with 12 points, and Haley White added 10.
Piper will take on Andover Central in a noon consolation game on Saturday.
Paola 56, overtime
Top-seeded McPherson made it to the championship game Friday night, but just by the hair of their chins, 59-56, in overtime over Paola.
McPherson (22-1) faces Topeka Hayden (14-0) in the title tilt at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday while Paola (17-7) takes on El Dorado in a third-place game at 2.
This was one of the classics of state tournament play as it the score was tied 11 times and the lead exchanged hands 10 times including six times in the overtime period.
It wasn’t until Kyler Kinnamon drove into the lane with 27.1 seconds to play, his team down one, and lofted a soft left handed hook over 6-7 Mason McDow for the hoop. Chase Jorgenson fouled him on the play and Kinnamon completed the three-point play for a 58-56 lead.
Paola’s last chance came down to Jorgenson’s 3-point attempt from the left wing that came up short. In a scrum under the basket, a jump ball was called with the possession arrow in favor of McPherson with just 1.6 seconds left.
Kinnamon was fouled on the inbounds play and hit one of two to finish it off.
Paola had taken its last lead with 1:21 left when McDow rebounded his own shot and scored from point blank for a 56-55 lead.
Paola had the ball in regulation with the score tied at 49 when Cayman Long went to the basket and Ryan Horton drew a charge with 18.7 seconds left.
Horton had a chance to win it with a tip at the buzzer, but his effort rolled off forcing the extra period.
Peter Horton led the Bullpups with 22 points and Kinnamon finished with 13. McDow led the Panthers with 18 while Lucas Wilson scored 16.
• The Eudora boys beat Andale 44-43 in the semifinals of the 4A Division II tourney in Park City, Kan. Eudora improved to 18-5 and will play Scott Community- for the championship at 6:15 on Saturday.