Olathe South was the first team onto the floor at Charles Koch Arena on Wednesday, but in the first half of a Kansas Class 6A quarterfinal matchup, the Falcons couldn’t solve the college-arena shooting backdrop. They made only seven field goals. They missed all three three-point attempts.
It didn’t really matter. They still built a double-digit lead.
Olathe South continued its defensive dominance this season with a 50-32 victory against Dodge City in the quarterfinals on Wichita State’s campus.
“When you rely on your defense, you know that even if your shots aren’t falling, you’ll be OK because you will still get stops at the other end,” said senior Kacey Kennett, who led the Falcons with 15 points. “And you know that’s going to bring the other team down.”
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Olathe South, 21-1, led 22-10 at halftime. DejaNae Roebuck added 14 points for the Falcons.
Olathe East 51, Derby 39
Olathe East junior Caroline Hoppock attempted only one shot in the first half Wednesday. It clanked off the rim.
The shooting touch came to her after halftime.
Hoppock scored 11 points in the second half, leading Olathe East to a 51-39 comeback win against Derby in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
“I usually don't hit well with these backgrounds, but maybe I was just focusing more because it was a big game,” Hoppock said. “And my teammates just got me the ball when I was hitting.”
Hoppock was one of three players in double figures for Olathe East, which will face top-seeded Wichita South at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Sydney Wilson had 17 points, and Katie Gleason had 14.
SM Northwest 44, Washburn Rural 29
Shawnee Mission Northwest senior Brenni Rose whipped the ball next to her hip and faked a hard step toward the basket. Moments after she had driven to the goal for a bucket, her defender bit on the fake, backpedaling far enough to give Rose a wide-open three-point attempt. She swished it.
The lane, the perimeter, the free-throw line. Rose used all avenues to score 13 points in the first half, helping Shawnee Mission Northwest pull away early for an eventual 44-29 victory against Washburn Rural in the Class 6A girls state quarterfinals.
“When she plays well, we play well,” coach Tyler Stewart said. “Her starting off really well put everybody else at ease.”
Rose carried the load in the first half. Her teammates took over after halftime, when Rose totaled just two free throws. Danielle Rehor reached double digits with 10 points.
Shawnee Mission Northwest, 21-2, will face Olathe South in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Friday.
Wichita South 62, SM West 48
The burst took less than three minutes, but in a nine-point run, Wichita South delivered a not-so-subtle reminder to the rest of the Kansas Class 6A girls state tournament field: It’s the three-time defending state champions for a reason.
After Shawnee Mission West trimmed a double-digit lead to five points, Wichita South used the nine-point spurt to pull away for a 62-48 win Wednesday in the quarterfinals.
That spoiled the 24-point effort from Vikings junior Mackenzie Loe.
“We knew they were a good team, but we also knew if we played our game, we could play with anybody,” Shawnee Mission West coach Scott Aldrich said. Loe “was focused and wanted to win this game really badly, and I think that showed up in her game.”
Shawnee Mission West, 12-11, trailed unbeaten Wichita South by 12 points only a minute into the third quarter. It cut the margin to five points before Wichita South scored nine straight.