The WHS Lady Crusaders sealed the deal Saturday evening in the 46-33 4A Sub-State Championship Final victory over the Lady Bulldogs of Ark City HS. (In final Sub-State action being played out at Ark City HS since Thursday)
WHS was the best seed but hadn't played to their full potential on Thursday in the semi-final vs Coffeyville. Ark City, being an AVCTL DIV II school (WHS is DIV IV), routinely plays larger schools at larger venues with larger and louder crowds, so a positive outcome for the Lady Crusaders wasn't a for sure thing by any means. We just knew we were 1 win away from going to the State 4A Tournament for the third year in a row - this game was a must-win!
Ark City jumped out first, scoring on their first possession,after the Lady Crusaders had failed to do so. Wellington would answer however and by quarter one's completion, the Lady Crusaders were up 11-8. A lot of ball movement by Wellington and aggressive play helped stretch that lead to 9 pts. at half. (26-17)
Wellington continued to pressure the ball in the 3rd quarter, denying Ark City scoring opportunities and holding them to only 2 points and extended the lead out 20 pts as the 4th qtr. got underway. (39-19) The ladies in red got a little careless towards the end, allowing a brief flurry of Bulldog scoring, but it was far too little, far too late...the Lady Crusaders were going to prevail and continue to set records at WHS with their basketball prowess over the last several years. Congratulations to Coaches Adams, Strothman, Brown & Ledesma and congrats to the Lady Crusaders - awesome Senior leadership and awesome memories continue to be in the making as they head down this final stretch of HS basketball together, as they have done now for the past 6 years, initially as Knights, now as Crusaders. The ride, although almost over, has certainly been a dilly dilly for welly welly!
Congratulations Lady Crusaders - we are lovin' this - keep it goin'!!
ACHS 33 WHS 46 (14-8) (6-3)
Avery Rusk 24, Rylee Rusk 8, Shayland French 7, Taylor Meyer 3, Mekenna Adams 3, Jacelyn Buck 1
Field Goals 5/14 36% / Free Throws 15/19 79%
3 Pointer 7/18 39% / Turnovers 20
Off. Reb. 7 / Def. Reb. 22 / Steals 12 / Asst. 5
NEXT UP: STATE 4A Tournament @ Salina beginning WEDS. MARCH 7th: #7 seed Wellington (14-8) vs #2 seed Altamont-Labette Co (21-1) @ 6:30PM at the Tony Pizza's Events Center (formerly Bicentennial Center)