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Tigers topple Panthers, 53-31

CLAY CENTER  — Finishing up the regular season on the road against a ranked team, the Concordia Panthers fell 53-31 to Clay Center in a North Central Kansas League game on Tuesday night.
Concordia trailed Clay Center, ranked 10th in Class 4A, just 26-20 two minutes into the third quarter.
The Tigers outscored the Panthers 14-7 the rest of the way in the period to go up 40-27.
Clay Center then opened the fourth quarter with a 13-2 run to put the game out of reach.
“We had a few untimely turnovers and it seemed like they resulted in layups,” Concordia coach Michael Wahlmeier said, “But much happier with the effort. I thought they played hard. They played well at times. They were battling. It is still a loss, but much different feeling coming out of it than the Marysville game.”
Concordia finished the regular season 2-18 overall and 1-9 in league play.
The Panthers are seeded eighth in the Class 3A sub-state to be hosted by Beloit next week. They will play a first-round game at top-seeded Phillipsburg (17-3).
Phillipsburg defeated Concordia 57-33 on February 18.
“It is a winnable game. We know we are all going to have to play well to compete, but I like our chances,” Wahlmeier said.
Concordia battled Clay Center to an 8-8 tie after one quarter of play.
The Panthers committed six quick turnovers in the second period as the Tigers scored 11 straight points to go up 19-8.
A basket by Terin Rundus five minutes into the period got Concordia within nine points, 19-10.
The two teams traded baskets, and Lexi Liby hit a three-point shot to put Clay Center up 24-12.
Kendall Reynolds made one of two free throws for the Panthers to make it a 24-13 game at halftime.
A three by Reynolds early in the second half closed the gap to 24-16.
Clay Center, 14-6 overall and 8-2 in the NCKL, got a basket by Clara Edwards.
Two free throws by Karlee Wahlmeier and a follow by Rundus pulled Concordia within six points, 26-20, with 6:10 to play in the third quarter.
A pair of free throws by Edwards and a layup by Shelby Siebold gave the Tigers a 30-20 advantage.
The Panthers would pull back within eight points on two occasions.
It was a 32-24 game when Clay Center used an 8-1 spurt to go on top 40-25.
Wahlmeier scored off an offensive rebound, and Concordia trailed 40-27 going into the fourth quarter.
After Edwards made two free throws, Wahlmeier scored again to make it 42-29.
Clay Center pulled away with 11 straight points.
Wahlmeier led Concordia with 10 points.
Rundus and Reynolds scored eight points each.
Edwards scored 22 points for Clay Center.

Bechard 2-0-2 4, Wilson 0-0-1 0, Loeffler 0-0-1 0, Reynolds 2-3-1 8, Strait 0-1-1 1, Wahlmeier 4-2-3 10, Rundus 4-0-1 8. Totals: 12-6-10 31.
Bent 4-0-1 9, Siebold 4-0-1 9, Liby 2-0-0 6, Henry 1-0-1 2, Hammel 2-1-1 5, Edwards 7-8-2 22. Totals:  20-9-10 53.


Concordia Blade-Empire

510 Washington St.
Concordia, KS 66901