Panthers battle hard but fall short against Clay Center

thumb thumb thumb

Playing with a nothing-to-lose attitude, the Concordia Panthers battled fifth-ranked Clay Center to the final seconds before suffering a 58-53 defeat Tuesday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium.
Concordia had lost two previous meetings to Clay Center  by a combined 50 points, but kept it close throughout the third time around.
Trailing by eight points in the fourth quarter, the Panthers fought back to within three, 56-53, when Megan James made two free throws with 13 seconds to play.
Alyx Bloom knocked down a pair of free throws two seconds later, and Clay Center was able to hold on for the win in the final game of the regular season.
“We had talked about how we hadn’t had a very good home game for a while. We wanted to go out and put on a good game,” Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said, “I felt like they gave our seniors, our team, their best effort.”
The two teams will meet for a fourth time in the opening round of the Class 4A sub-state tournament in Clay Center on Tuesday night.
Clay Center (17-3) is the number two seed, and Concordia (3-17) is the number seven seed.
Concordia scored first in the game when Nikki Blankenbeckley hit a three-point shot, but Clay Center went on an 11-2 run to go up 11-5.
The Panthers limited the Tigers to just two points over the final 3:18 of  the first quarter, and scored four, including a steal and layup by Tristen Leiszler as time ran out, to close the gap to 14-9.
Trailing 16-11, Concordia got a three-point shot by Leiszler and a layup by Blankenbeckley to tie the game at 16-16.
Clay Center would reclaim the lead at 23-19.
Blankenbeckley followed up a missed shot, and Katie Lambert pulled down an offensive rebound and scored.
Lambert was fouled, and made the free throw to give Concordia a 24-23 advantage with 27 seconds to play in the first half.
“She got some put backs and got an and one,” Wahlmeier said of Lambert, who came off the bench to score seven points and grab eight rebounds.
Bloom, who led all scorers with 21 points, was fouled with 1.9 seconds on the clock. She made both free throws to put the Tigers back up 25-24.
Clay Center opened the second half with an 11-4 spurt to push the lead to eight points, 36-28.
Five straight points by Leiszler and a follow by Lambert got the Panthers back within a point, 36-35.
Leiszler, with 12 points, was one of three Panthers to score in double figures.
Clay Center outscored Concordia 6-2 in a span of 1:52, and led 42-37 heading into the final period.
The Panthers trailed 53-45 when they made one final run at the Tigers.
Molly Adams scored inside to get things started.
Adams led the way for the Panthers with 13 points and seven rebounds.
“I thought a big part of why we were in it was Molly inside,” Wahlmeier said.
Bloom made one of two free throws to put Clay Center up 54-47 wih 45 seconds on the clock.
Leiszler hit from 15 feet 11 seconds later, and it was 54-49.
Two free throws by Alyssa Steppe with 24 seconds left made it a 56-49 game.
Adams grabbed an offensive rebound and scored, and Concordia came up with a steal.
James drew a foul with 13 seconds left, and made both free throws to make it a one possession game, 56-53.
Two free throws by Bloom two seconds later gave the Tigers a 58-53 cushion, and the Panthers would not score after that.
“The girls are learning they can play with some of the best teams in a our League,” Wahlmeier said.
James matched Leiszler with 12 points and also had four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Macy Franson scored 11 points for Clay Center.

CLAY CENTER (58)
Franson 5-0-2 11, Cooper 2-0-1 4, Folks 1-0-0 2, Steppe 3-2-2 9, Bloom 6-7-1 21, Edmunson 2-1-1 5, Ebert 0-0-1 0, Dieckmann 2-2-5 6. Totals: 21-12-13 58.
CONCORDIA (53)
K. Lambert 3-1-2 7, M. Lambert 1-0-2 2, Adams 6-1-4 13, Blankenbeckley 3-0-3 7, Leiszler 4-2-3 12, James 4-4-2 12. Totals: 21-8-16 53.

SPORTS

Funk Pharmacy suffers 16-4 defeat

Rolling Hills, Belleville, defeated Funk Pharmacy 16-4 in Concordia Recreation Girls' Softball play Tuesday night at the Concordia Sports Complex. Funk Pharmacy trailed 4-2 after one inning of play. Four runs in the top of the second inning gave Rolling Hills an 8-2 advantage.... [More]

CNB splits with Republic County

Taking advantage of 10 walks, Citizens National Bank racked up 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning on its way to a 14-4 victory over Republic County in the opening game of a K-18 Baseball doubleheader Tuesday night at the Concordia Sports Complex. Republic County won the... [More]

More Sports

NEWS

HARVEST IS HEATING UP

Doing their “thousand dollar repairs” on a combine, farmers Galen Deneault of D and G Farms and Mark Boley prepare for another long hot day of wheat harvest. “Farmers don't really like to give out yields because it can affect prices. You don't want to brag,... [More]

Courthouse 6-22-16

District Court CRIMINAL Harold George Mildrexler appeared in person and by his court-appointed attorney James M. Johnson, June 13, and was convicted of Battery. He was sentenced to six months in the Cloud County Jail and ordered to pay costs of the action, $158, an alcohol/drug... [More]

Trade Wind plans Cloud County project

 Nick Coil, Trade Wind Energy Development Manager, discussed the Skyview Wind Project at the Monday morning meeting of Cloud County board of commissioners. Coil said typically, it takes approximately five years to develop a wind farm. The project in the Glasco area would... [More]

More News

OPINIONS

Prairie Pondering

 “The Walk” . . .  Not so long ago, every country music star probably had “Time Changes Everything” stashed somewhere in his repertoire. It came to mind recently when I attended the high school graduation of my granddaughter in Olathe.  When... [More]

Letter to the Editor 5-27-16

Dear Editor,  Last week, Gov. Sam Brownback announced his solution to the state’s budget problem, which includes significant cuts in KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program. There has been a flurry of inaccurate or incomplete information, and we need to set the... [More]

More Opinions

Buy Photos