Centre girls lose in 1st round to eventual state champion



The Centre girls? basketball team lost Thursday to No. 1 seed Hoxie , 71-29, to end their time at the Class 1A-Div. 1 state tournament in White Auditorium in Emporia.

?What an experience these past couple of weeks have been for the girls and their coaches,? coach Alan Stahlecker said.

?The support and excitement among the Centre students, staff, parents and community was incredible.?

This season marks the first time the Cougars have competed at state in 39 years. The 1972-73 team was the only other CHS girls? team to compete at state, taking second.

The Hoxie Indians got the jump on the Cougars early, combining three perimeter shots and a basket off a steal to go up, 12-0, with 4:35 left in the first quarter.

Shelby Makovec scored inside with two minutes left to give Centre its three points for the period. Hoxie led, 18-3, at the first break.

A three-pointer from Cacey Simons started the Cougars on a high note.

Genesis Rudolph added a 3-pointer with 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Rudolph hit another three with 26 seconds before the half, but the Indians still held a 32-14 lead going into the locker room.

Centre continued to struggle offensively in the third quarter against an aggressive Hoxie defense. They allowed the Indians to outscore the Cougars, 21-10, to claim a 53-24 margin at the end of the period.

Hoxie steadily pulled away in the final frame, putting up 18 points to Centre?s five, for the final margin of victory.

?Hoxie is a very, very good team, with incredible depth,? Stahlecker said. ?They were the No. 1 seed for a reason and it showed as they won the state championship.

?There was very little change when they made substitutions. They played very good pressure defense and shot the ball very well.?

Stahlecker said he was proud that his team played hard the entire game, and was still competing until the end despite the margin.

Simons led Centre with 10 points and nine rebounds. Rudolph had a season-high seven points. Makovec added six.

The Cougars, who finished the season with a 14-10 record, will lose senior Theo Kassebaum and foreign exchange student Jasmin Abdel Ghany.

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