Published in the Iola Register on Jan. 7, 2013.

Panthers can't keep pace with #1 Wamego

WAMEGO — Wamego was missing a Page, but didn’t seem to miss a beat.
The unbeaten Red Raiders, ranked number one in Class 4A, did not have leading scorer Kaylee Page, a 6-2 junior available against Concordia, but Lanie Page, a 6-2 sophomore, poured in 29 points in a 62-29 North Central Kansas League victory on Friday night.
Concordia fell behind 7-0 to start the game, and was unable to keep pace with Wamego in the first game following the semester break.
“They are a good team,” Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said of the Red Raiders.
Consecutive baskets by Megan James and Maggie Lambert got the Panthers as close as three points, 7-4.
Wamego, now 7-0 overall and 3-0 in League play, scored the final nine points of the first quarter to open up a 16-4 advantage.
Getting four points from Nikki Blankenbeckley and two from Jennifer Boley, the Panthers traded baskets with the Red Raiders in the first three minutes of the second period, and trailed 22-10.
Baskets by Katie Baker and Page put Wamego up 26-10.
James and Blankenbeckley combined to go two of four from the free throw line, and it was a 26-10 game.
A three-point basket by Kasey Holle and a layup by Page extended Wamego’s lead to 31-12 at halftime.
“They struggled from three-point range, but we just didn’t play smart. We kept jumping at them on the perimeter and letting them drive around us for layups,” Wahlmeier said.
Wamego hit just 4 of 21 three-point attempts.
Tristen Leiszler knocked down a pair of three-point shots in the early going of the second half, and Concordia got as close as 18 points, 36-18.
Leiszler connected on three threes in leading the Panthers with nine points in the game.
Wamego rattled off eight straight points, four by Page, to make it 44-18.
Concordia, now 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the NCKL, got a follow by James.
Page scored inside, Maddie Vontz made a layup and Page completed a three-point play to push Wamego’s lead to 51-20.
James scored for the Panthers, but Page hit a three, got a steal and a layup and Lakyn Rowden made a layup, and it was a 58-22 game heading into the fourth quarter.
With a running clock in the final period, Concordia outscored Wamego 7-4.
“Our focus over break was to try to get healthy, and we couldn’t accomplish that,” Wahlmeier said.
The Panthers are still without 5-10 sophomore Molly Adams, and lost sophomore Jera Metro for the remainder of the season following knee surgery. Chelsea Martin also sat out the game.
Leiszler had six rebounds and four assists to go with her nine points.
James finished with eight points and seven rebounds.
The Panthers committed 26 turnovers in the game.
“They are so long and athletic, they altered our shots and altered our passes,” Wahlmeier said.
Rowden and Rachel Griffitt scored eight points each for Wamego.
Concordia will host Marysville in a League game on Tuesday night.
The Panthers lost the first meeting of the season to the Bulldogs.

CONCORDIA (30)
K. Lambert 0-4-2 4, Gumm 0-0-1 0, M. Lambert 1-0-2 2, Blankenbeckley 2-1-2 5, Boley 1-0-2 2, Leiszler 3-0-1 9, James 3-1-1 8. Totals: 10-6-13 30.
WAMEGO (62)
Alderson 2-0-1 4, Page 13-2-1 29, Griffitt 2-2-4 8, Rowden 2-4-0 8, Baker 1-0-2 2, Starkey 0-0-1 0, Seufert 2-0-2 4, Pettay 0-0-1 0, Holle 10-0 3, Vontz 2-0-1 4. Totals: 25-8-13 62.