Royal Valley junior Lexi Baker (No. 21) takes a jump shot over a Silver Lake defender during the semi-final sub-state game Friday at Council Grove. Baker was the top-scorer for the Panthers with nine points.

RV girls fall to Silver Lake Eagles

The Royal Valley Lady Panthers fell to the undefeated Silver Lake Lady Eagles 50-27 in the second round of the sub-state tournament Friday in a fast-paced game that kept the ball moving. 

“Their quickness caught us off guard a little,” said coach Corey Katzer. “We knew what they were going to come out and try to do, but it’s hard to simulate that speed in practice. It took us a bit to adjust to that.”

Silver Lake held the Panthers to just two points in both the first and fourth quarters. 

“We’ve watched them on film, and I had seen them play live a few times but until you are sitting right there on the sideline you don’t realize how quick they are,” he said. “Early in the game, we couldn’t compete with that.”

The Panthers’ defensive strategy shifted during the game, as the team began with a full-court press. 

“We want to press, and we want to take the pressure to our opponent,” he said. “I think that helps us play faster. We had a hard time adjusting to their quickness. They beat us down the floor early a couple of times for layups. So at that point, we made the adjustment to concentrate on getting back.”

The Panthers found their rhythm in the second half by scoring 13 in the third quarter and limiting their fouls. They held Silver Lake to just seven in that quarter and closed the gap to just four points. 

“I think in the third quarter we were at our best,” he said. “They could have looked at the score in the first quarter and given up, but they didn’t. They wanted to compete.”

Experience was also a factor in the game, as Silver Lake had seven seniors on their roster compared to RV’s three.

“Sub-state is a pretty big stage, and most of our girls haven’t been a part of that type of atmosphere,” Katzer said. “I think it took us a bit to calm down and get through our nerves.”

Friday’s semi-final game capped off an up and down season for the Lady Panthers.

“I’m very proud of the progress we made through the course of this year,” he said. “We started our season losing to Jeff West and then going to our second to last game where we put up 98 points in four overtimes against a very quality Rossville team. Early in the season I don’t know if we would have won that game.”

Macy Putnam, Kate Hanson and Anna Lee Anderson are the only seniors on this year’s team.

“We had strong senior leadership,” he said. “We don’t win 10 ball games this year without our seniors. We don’t step forward without those three seniors. They moved this program one giant step forward.”

The Silver Lake Lady Eagles went on to win the sub-state tournament in Council Grove and are headed to the 3A state tournament this week as the number one seed.

In the boys’ tournament, Osage City was the champion and will compete at state.

RV ended its season with a 6-10 record in Big 7 league play and 10-12 overall.

RV: 2-10-13-2 – 27

Sliver Lake: 11-15-7-17 – 50

Individual statistics:

RV: Baker 4 (1) 0-0 9, Hanson 2 0-0 4, Schuetz 0 3-4 3, T. Thomas 1 1-2 3, Thompson 1 1-1 3, Putnam 1 0-0 2, K. Thomas 0 2-5 2, Johnson 0 1-2 1. Totals 9 (1) 8-14 27.

Silver Lake: Gifford 5 (2) 8-14 20, White 2 (1) 3-9 8, Wegner 3 2-2 8, Heiman 2 2-4 6, Johnson 1 (1) 0-0 3, Lane 0 3-4 3, Yoder 1 0-0 2. Totals 14 (4) 18-34 50. 

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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