HUTCHINSON — To come back from a 10-point second-half deficit against Scott City and survive two overtimes, the Halstead High School girls basketball team needed to play like there was no tomorrow.

There was no tomorrow. The Kansas State High School Activities Association made the decision just before the game started to end the Class 3A state tournament at the Hutchinson Sports Arena, along with the other classes, at the conclusion of Thursday’s games.

Halstead came through with a 45-42 win.

"We just told them that was the last game of the night in the state," Halstead coach Derek Schutte said. "It was a heck of a game. To go out there, see the fans who stuck around and cheered them on when we were down, they just never quit. They haven’t all year. We’re not always the biggest team or the fastest or the best shooting, but those girls dig in when they need to and found a way tonight."

Schutte said he was informed about the state’s decision to end the tournament just before the start of the game. He didn’t inform his team until the end of the game.

"I debated at some time, just for inspiration, at some of the points when we were down," Schutte said. "Scott City is such a good team. The two teams tonight could be playing for a state championship. I just wanted to keep playing. If this was going to be our last game, let it all out there and see what happens."

Freshman Kaleigh O’Brien led the Dragons with 13 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Karenna Gerber scored 12 points with 12 rebounds, eight blocked shots and four assists. Josie Engel scored nine points. Gerber scored 11 points in the second half.

"We’ve seen defensives like that before," Gerber said. "Tonight, we had to hit some outside shots. When we got to double-overtime, we showed some heart. We kind of surprised to pull it out there. (In regards to her blocks,) I’m kind of a rim protector. It’s my job to make sure finish outs don’t happen. We had to do that to win the game. This puts a big chip up. We’ll be back. We’ll be back."

"We just needed to push through with some good passes and keep working together," O’Brien said. "It’s definitely hard. We had an opportunity. We’re going to work hard for next year and get back here again."

Scott City was led by Brynn McCormick with 15 points. Emily Weathers scored 10.

The Beavers’ zone had Halstead’s offense stymied for two and a half quarters before the Dragons were able to open things up with some outside shots.

"It’s very tough, especially when you think you’ve got it locked down," Scott City coach Sarah McCormick said. "We had some calls not go our way. We had to make some changes to our game plan and had to shift some things. They certainly answered with that. I’m still proud of our effort. Everyone gave 100%. It’s really hard to win here. Everybody’s good. A few plays didn’t go our way."

Down 11-6, Halstead got back within three at the end of the first quarter 11-9.

O’Brien opened the second-quarter scoring with a 3-pointer. Scott City then took advantage of Halstead turnovers and fouls to build a 9-0 run to end the half.

Halstead was four of 21 shooting in the first half, while Scott City was five of 19.

Scott City extended its run into the second half with a layup. Gerber broke the Dragon drought with a layup with 6:32 left in the third quarter. A Gerber putback with 2:20 left in the period got the Dragons within six. After missing a chance to get closer, Brynn McCormick hit a 3-pointer for the Beavers. Scott City led 29-20 at the end of the period.

Halstead got back in the game with a Parker Schroeder trey and a pair of O’Brien free throws to open the fourth quarter. A Gerber block set up an O’Brien 3-pointer with 5:35 in regulation.

Brynn McCormick broke the Halstead run with a 3-pointer with 4:11 in regulation. Halstead came back with a Schroeder layup and an O’Brien 3-pointer to put Halstead in the lead.

A steal by Madison Shapland set up one of two free throws to tie the game. After another Halstead turnover, Scott City milked the clock down to 5.7 seconds. Halstead forced a turnover at midcourt with 3.0 seconds to play. The Dragons couldn’t get a shot off in the remaining time.

The two teams traded points early in the overtime, and then traded turnovers. A Gerber block at the buzzer forced a second overtime.

Scott City scored on a Weathers layup and one of two Shapland free throws to open the second overtime. Engel answered with a 3-pointer.

A Gerber layup with 1:08 remaining put Halstead back in the lead. O’Brien followed with a pair of free throws. O’Brien missed the front end of a one-and-bonus, but Halstead was able to tie up a Scott City miss. The Dragons blocked another shot in the closing seconds.

Halstead, 21-3, loses no seniors.

"That’s the good news, but when you have the opportunity like this, you have something you can’t control, you don’t want to have to wait until next year," Schutte said. "It’s been fantastic. You saw the crowd tonight. The whole community has been behind us and excited. When I took over the girls’ program, we were winning like six games a year and there were a lot of 30-point losses. They just stuck with it. We had some groups come through with a lot of positivity in their culture. They’re a special group. Karenna is one of the best girls in the state. The other girls just compliment her so well and she compliments them. They all defend so well. They all have a will to win and come up with plays when they need them."

Scott City loses five seniors.

"We’re going to have to regroup," Sarah McCormick said. "I don’t know if we can play the same way, but we have some good players coming back. We will see what our strong points are and go from there."

SCOTT CITY (20-4) — Latta 1-10 3-5 5, L.Rumford 1-9 0-0 2, McCormick 4-17 5-6 15, Weathers 4-11 1-2 10, Shapland 2-2 4-5 8, E.Rumford 1-3 0-0 2, Patton 0-1 0-0 0, Rose 0-0 0-0 0, Holstein 0-1 0-0 0, TOTALS 13-54 13-18 42.

HALSTEAD (21-3) — Lewis 1-3 1-2 4, Schroeder 2-7 0-0 5, Gerber 5-12 2-5 12, Engel 3-7 0-0 9, O’Brien 3-9 4-5 13, Heck 0-0 0-0 0, Kelley 1-5 0-0 2, TOTALS 15-43 7-12 45.

Scott City;11;9;9;4;5;4;—;42


Total fouls — SC 14, Hal. 17. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — SC: Weathers 34.6-OT2. 3-point shooting — SC 3-19 (Latta 0-2, L.Rumford 0-6, McCormick 2-9, Weathers 1-2), Hal. 8-21 (Lewis 1-3, Schroeder 1-2, Engel 3-7, O’Brien 3-5, Kelley 0-4). Rebounds — SC 34 (Latta 7, McCormick 7), Hal. 37 (Gerber 12). Assists — SC 7 (Latta 2, Holstein 2), Hal. 12 (Gerber 4). Turnovers — SC 19 (Latta 4, L.Rumford 4, McCormick 4, Shapland 4), Hal. 24 (O’Brien 7). Blocked shots — SC 4 (Rumford 2, Weathers 2), Hal. 11 (Gerber 8). Steals — SC 13 (L.Rumford 3, Weathers 3, Shapland 3), Hal. 9 (O’Brien 4).