TOPEKA — Way back in the third-place game of the Newton Invitational Tournament, the Newton High School girls’ basketball team got a lead against Kapaun-Mt. Carmel and had to hang on for dear life for a 44-40 win.?Fast forward to Saturday in the third-place game of the Class 5A state tournament at Landon Arena, Topeka Expocentre. Newton jumped to a 13-point lead at the half, was nearly shut out in the third quarter, but rallied in the fourth for a 35-30 win.?Like the first game, once Kapaun got behind, the Crusaders used physical play to get back in the game. Like the first meeting, it took the Railers some time to regain its bearings.?“They’re good,” Newton coach Randy Jordan said. “They’re going to make those runs. We had to weather it. Kelsi (Langley) made a big play at the end of the third quarter with an and-one. That gave us the momentum. Like I told the girls, that’s a sign of maturity for them, to weather that storm, then come back in the fourth quarter to make a difference.”?Newton was outscored 25-18 from the field, but hit 17 of 23 free throws. Kapaun was five of 12 from the line.?“Free throws has been a big part of our success in the post-season,” Newton Jordan said. “We just focused on that to get better. They did and it paid off in the post-season.”?Newton’s defense held Kapaun to a season-low 30 points. It was the sixth time the Railers held a team to 30 points or less. It was Newton’s second lowest scoring output of the season. Both teams end the season 20-5.?“Defensively, we played really well,” Jordan said. “We match up well with them. We did a good job of keeping them in front of us. I have to give them credit too. They played last night with out (head coach) Marvin (Estes). Marvin is a great guy and a great moral character. His wife had to have surgery, and he couldn’t coach. That was difficult for him and difficult for his kids. He put family first. His kids played hard. It was hard for them emotionally. Our kids competed for all three games. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”?Newton was led by senior Langley with 13 points, the only player in the game who scored in double figures.?“This meant a lot to us,” Langley said. “We knew we had a shot at it last night. There’s nothing we could do about that now, so we wanted to play as well as we could.”?Newton hadn’t lost back-to-back games this season. It was the second time the Railers handed Kapaun a back-to-back loss.?“We’re really good at shaking things off,” Langley said. “The coach tells us not to dwell on things. We decided to put it behind us in the locker room, like it never happened.”?Sophomore Taylor Stahly added seven points. Senior Abbie Lehman was held to four points, but had 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.?“This game meant everything,” Lehman said. “It was our last game with these girls. We wanted to win it more than anything. We pretty much had the same game plan. We wanted to shut down their key players. In the third quarter, we started having a lot of turnovers, but in the fourth quarter, we started playing well again.”?Lehman finished the tournament with 33 points, 35 rebounds and eight blocked shots. Lehman led the tournament in both rebounds and blocked shots. Lehman was third in total scoring. Stahly finished with 30 points, hitting six of 11 3-pointers. Stahly was fourth in total scoring and led the tournament in 3-points shooting percentage at six of 11. Senior Emily Hiebert finished with eight assists, second overall in the tournament, six steals (tied for third) and three blocked shots (tied for second).?“It’s an awesome way to go out,” Hiebert said. “We’re more than a team. We’re a family. ... The coach told us they weren’t going to stop. We’re going to have to keep pushing.”?“Emily does a lot of the dirty work defensively,” Jordan said. “She usually takes on the best guards. She’s so athletic. Putting Taylor at the two guard helps her. We made that switch last night, and she was able to get some shots off screens. Next year, we’re going to have to come up with some things to help Taylor get loose.”?Hiebert and Lehman finish their prep careers with seven appearances at the Expocentre — four in volleyball and three in basketball. Both have state medals in each sport. Both report to Wichita State this fall to play volleyball.?“It’s an awesome experience,” Hiebert said. “I love playing here. It’s a great way to go out, playing with these girls. It means a lot. We start summer classes in June or July. Me and Abbie are going to move in to WSU together. I’ll be playing club volleyball. I have to get used to that pace of the (college) game. It’s going to be way faster.”?“I’m glad basketball is over, but I really have enjoyed all four years of it, and playing with these girls,” Lehman said. “I’ll start spring workouts soon. I’ll start taking classes in the summer. I’ll play with the Wichita Power in club volleyball and will have some tournaments with them.”?Sydney Kuhn led Kapaun with eight points. Samantha Bachrodt added seven.?“Kuhn’s a really good player inside, and we were trying to take it too each other,” Lehman said.?Down 5-1 early, the Railers made a 7-1 run of its own, aided by missed free throws by Kapaun. A Hannah Carlgren putback put the Railers up 10-8 at the end of the quarter.?Newton made a 13-2 run in the second quarter to lead 23-10, hitting six of eight free throws. Kapaun was three of 18 from the field in the first half.?Newton missed its first nine shots of the third quarter. Kapaun took advantage with a 12-0 run.?Newton broke the run with a Langley three-point play with 2.4 seconds left in the period, keeping Newton ahead 26-22. Langley opened the fourth quarter with four of four free throws.?“(The three-point play) really got me pumped,” Langley said. “That third quarter was frustrating us. I just decided to drive it and see what happens. That set the momentum for the fourth quarter. The coach told me to keep driving, because it was working. I was on my free throws.”?In between her four free throws, she was called on a double-foul play.?“That was my favorite play of the night,” Langley said. “I thought I was a little bigger than I was and tried to post it.”?Molly McAuliffe got the Crusaders back in the game with a trey with 5:30 remaining in regulation. Newton answered with a Hiebert layup off a Lehman feed.?“That was a set play out of a time out,,” Jordan said. “They were overplaying Abbie, so we set that play.”?After a Newton free throw miss, Georgia Schaefer hit a jumper for Kapaun to cut the Railer lead to six with a minute left in regulation. Newton came back with a pair of Stahly free throws. Logan Porter hit one of two free throws with 7.0 seconds left to put the game away. Samantha Bachrodt hit a trey at the buzzer for Kapaun.?Newton will return two starters next year in Carlgren and Jacque Anderson, along with Stahly and Porter, who were the Railers’ sixth and seventh men this season.?“We’ll be a different team, there’s no question about it,” Jordan said. “We’ll have to come up with some different things. We’ll have to come up with some new ideas to use what we’ve got. We have to stay in the weight room, and they will. We have to spend a lot of time in the gym. We’re going to have to work on ball handling, because we won’t have Emily to bail us out or Abbie to flash to the middle to bail us out.”
KAPAUN-MT. CARMEL (20-5) — Miller 0-0 0-0 0, Born 0-0 0-0 0, Medina 0-0 0-0 0, Schaefer 1-1 0-0 2, Hagan 3-4 0-3 6, Dreiling 0-0 0-0 0, Jacobs 0-3 0-0 0, Bullock 0-3 0-0 0, Bachrodt 2-11 1-4 7, McAuliffe 1-2 2-2 5, Kuhn 3-12 0-1 8, Lienhard 0-5 2-2 2, TOTALS 10-41 5-12 30.?NEWTON (20-5) — Porter 1-2 1-2 3, Anderson 0-1 2-2 2, Stahly 1-3 4-4 7, Hiebert 1-5 0-0 2, Bartel 0-0 0-0 0, Lehman 2-8 0-3 4, Langley 2-5 8-10 13, Boston 0-0 0-0 0, Saenz 0-0 0-0 0, Carlgren 1-7 2-2 4, Roberts-Parker 0-0 0-0 0, Thieszen 0-0 0-0 0, TOTALS 8-31 17-23 35.
Kapaun 8 2 12 8 —30?Newton 10 13 3 9 —35
Total fouls — KMC 21, New. 11. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — KMC: Hagen. 3-point shooting — KMC 5-21 (Hagan 0-1, Jacobs 0-2, Bullock 0-3, McAuliffe 1-2, Kuhn 2-7, Lienhard 0-1), New. 2-6 (Stahly 1-2, Lehman 0-1, Langley 1-2, Carlgren 0-1). Rebounds — KMC 27 (Bachrodt 7), New. 34 (Lehman 11). Assists — KMC 4 (four with 1), New. 6 (Hiebert 2). Turnovers — KMC 9 (Bachrodt 4), New. 13 (three with 3). Blocked shots — KMC 3 (McAuliffe 2), New. 4 (Hiebert 2, Lehman 2). Steals — KMC 9 (Hagan 4), New. 3 (Lehman 2).