By Travis Mounts
The Garden Plain Owls girls basketball team lost on the road last Friday, falling 39-34 at the Trinity Academy Knights.
The Knights put up 13 points in the second quarter to take a 17-12 lead at halftime, and then extended their lead to 7 points after three quarters. Both teams struggled to score points early, with the Owls going up 5-4 after the first eight minutes.
Trinity’s Aubrey Winter was 6-for-6 at the free-throw line and scored a game-high 16 points. Garden Plain’s Carly Hitt nearly matched that total, scoring 14 points for the Owls off of four 3-point baskets. Brooke Hammond grabbed 14 rebounds, including 12 on the defensive end.
“We executed pretty well. It really came down to finishing, making baskets,” said Garden Plain head coach Kody Kasselman. He said the offense and defense executed well, but the Owls had lots of misses in close and the offense was not as fluid as he had hoped.
The Owls’ last regular-season game was Tuesday at home against Douglass. The Owls appear to be set for the No. 2 seed in the Dexter 2A substate, with the Bluestem Lions likely grabbing the top seed. Sedan and West Elk both have double-digit wins.
The Owls have generally faced bigger schools than many of the other substate teams, and the Central Plains League is generally considered a stronger league. The Owls’ feel their preseason and mid-season tournaments have hardened them.
“You record isn’t always clean, but it helps us. Hopefully we’ve gained enough battle scars to weather the challenges of substate,” Kasselman said.
Garden Plain: Carly Hitt 14, Celia Puetz 9, Brooke Hammond 5, Madelyn Rolfs 4, Sydney Puetz 2.
The Owls shook off a loss to Cheney, bouncing back for a 41-32 win over the Independent Panthers at home on Feb. 15.
The Owls won this game in the third quarter, when they outscored the Panthers by 9 points and held Independent to just 3 total points. That boosted Garden Plain to a 32-22 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Owls held a 10-0 edge on second-chance points, aided by a 15-2 advantage on offensive rebounds.
Brooke Hammond just missed a double-double, pulling down 10 rebounds to go with 9 points. Celia Puetz led the Owls in scoring with 10 points. Sydney Puetz had six steals, helping the Owls as they scored 11 points off turnovers.
Garden Plain: Celia Puetz 10, Brooke Hammond 9, Madelyn Rolfs 8, Sydney Puetz 6, Naomi Dooley 4, Ryleigh Stuhlsatz 4.