Irish hang on for 44-34 win over Panthers

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Chapman knocked down enough shots in the first three and a half quarters that it could afford to miss a few down the stretch.
Connecting on six three-point attempts, four by Lindsey Hurford, the Irish built a 38-30 lead on the Concordia Panthers.
Chapman would not score from the field over the final 4:20, but made six of nine free throw attempts to hang on for a 44-34 North Central Kansas League win over Concordia Friday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium.
“They made shots, and we didn’t guard them very well,” Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said.
Concordia had won each of the previous three meetings against the Irish, and led 15-8 late in the first quarter.
Chapman turned things around by hitting from three-point range.
The Irish were up 38-28 when Morgan Beemer scored with 4:20 to play in the game.
With an opportunity to rally late as it had in the previous meeting this season, Concordia couldn’t capitalize.
Tristen Leiszler hit two free throws to get the Panthers within eight points, 38-30, with 4:10 on the clock.
Chapman committed three consecutive turnovers, but Concordia had a missed shot, a turnover and two missed free throws.
“We couldn’t score the ball. We were getting them to make mistakes,” Wahlmeier said, “Credit them for their defense. They were taking away our scorers. I didn’t think our scorers stepped up.”
Two free throws by Hurford put Chapman up 40-30.
Concordia got two free throws by Molly Adams, a steal and a short jumper by Megan James to climb to within six points, 40-34, with 1:09 left.
Chapman’s Macey Langvardt missed on the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, but the Panthers couldn’t convert.
The Irish made four of six free throws over the final 39 seconds to lock up the win.
Concordia falls to 3-14 overall and 1-7 in the NCKL with the loss.
Chapman has the same record.
Hurford, who finished with 17 points, knocked down a pair of threes as Chapman got out to an 8-4 lead in the game.
Leiszler made two free throws, and followed those up with a three-point basket.
Four straight points by James and a bucket by Adams gave Concordia a 15-8 advantage with 1:54  play in the first quarter.
“I thought we were playing with a lot more energy early in the game,” Wahlmeier said.
The Panthers would not score again until a  Jera Metro basket 6:03 in the second quarter.
Chapman pumped in 10 points during that stretch to go up 18-15.
Daryan Wise answered Metro’s basket with a three.
Leiszler, who led Concordia with 13 points, connected on a three, and the Panthers trailed just 21-20 at halftime.
An 8-2 spurt to open the second half gave Chapman a 29-22 lead.
The Panthers cut the deficit to 31-26 heading into the final eight minutes.
Chapman went up by 10 points in the first 3:40 of the fourth quarter, and Concordia was unable to capitalize on its opportunities to make a late run.
“Empty possessions and missed opportunities. That was pretty much the ball game,” Wahlmeier said.
James joined Leiszler in double figures for Concordia with 10 points.
Adams pulled down 12 rebounds.
Jordan Woods scored 15 points for Chapman.
Concordia will play a non-League game at Phillipsburg on Tuesday night.

CHAPMAN (44)
Lovett 1-0-0 2, Beemer 1-0-1 2, Anderson 0-0-1 0, Woods 7--0-3 15, Langvardt 0-2-3 3, Decker 0-0-1 0, Hurford 4-5-4 17, Wise 1-0-0 3, Heiman 1-1-3 3. Totals: 15-8-16 44.
CONCORDIA (34)
K. Lambert 0-0-1 0, M. Lambert 1-0-1 2, Metro 1-0-2 2, Adams 2-2-3 2, Blankenbeckley 0-1-2 1, Boley 0-0-1 0, Leiszler 3-4-4 13, James 5-0-3 10. Totals: 12-7-17 34.

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