Turnovers paved the way to an early exit for the Centre girls at the Class 1A-Division 1 state tournament Wednesday in Emporia. The Cougars short-circuited 36 possessions to help St. John-Hudson cruise to a 55-26 victory in the quarterfinals.
The start of the game set the tone for the evening, as the No. 6 seeded Cougars lost their first four possessions while the No. 3 seeded Tigers built a 6-0 lead less than 2:30 into the game.
Makenzie Dienes scored Centre’s first two points of the night at the 4:54 mark. St. John Hudson led 12-4 by the end of the period.
The Cougars’ struggles continued into the second period with 12 more turnovers and one field goal—a three-point basket by Cacey Simons at the 2:25 mark—in only four shot attempts. The Tigers hit only six of 18 shots, but it was enough to push their lead to 26-10 by halftime.
Improved shooting by the Tigers inflated the lead to 45-15 by the end of the third quarter. The Cougars claimed a moral victory by winning the final quarter, 11-10.
Shelby Makovec led Centre’s scoring effort with nine points. The 5-foot-5 point guard also pulled down a team-high six rebounds. As a team, the Cougars shot 32 percent from the floor (8-25).
St. John-Hudson shot slightly better at 37 percent but put up more than twice as many shots (56 to 21). Leading the way were Alexis Witt with 14 points and Jamie Waters with 10.
The Tigers committed 17 turnovers and had a 38-28 advantage in rebounds.
With the loss, the Cougars finish a strong season with a 17-7 record while St. John-Hudson advanced to Friday’s semifinals with a 22-2 record.