Classic update: SMS wins tourney opener

By Steve Sell
January 30, 2014
Kendall Shaw

Shawnee Mission South coach Kelsey Hill said she didn't get any inside information on how to play in the McPherson Roundhouse from her former Kansas State teammates Marlies Gipson and Ashley Sweat, two of the greatest Bullpups of all time.

Shawnee Mission South and Wichita Northwest were both new to the Mid America Classic and they entered Thursday’s first round with identical 5-5 records. If Hill wanted some inside info from the former Bullpups, they weren't telling it since MHS and the Raiders could eventually meet in the tourney.

"They won't reveal it (how to play in the Roundhouse)," Hill chuckled. "They're still very close to their alma mater. They don't want to give up their tips."

 South, perhaps a little groggy after a 3-hour trip, finally adapted to the new surroundings better than Northwest, as the Raiders came away with a 53-36 victory to kick off the 12-game tournament.

It was anybody’s game for a half, as South led only 25-21, but the Raiders used some suffocating defense to hold the Grizzlies to just four third-quarter points to pile up a 14-point lead.

"I think the difference was that our kids just play very hard," Hill said. "We just kept going and quit making some dumb turnovers. We still had some turnovers in the second half, but just not quite as many."

Only once were the Grizzlies able to slice the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter, 41-32, as which time the Raiders took off and closed out the game strong.

The difference came at the foul line, where South made 25 of 39 to just 4 of 8 for Northwest.

"We have a tendency to take a lot of 3s and I'm totally fine with that because I love 3s," said Hill, who was a 3-point specialist herself at Kansas State. "But I told them we've got to get to the rim because I thought we could attack them off the dribble."

Allison Hines led South with 15 points and Sierra Roberts chipped in with 10. Cassie Pauls kept Northwest close with 17 points and Calea Carr furnished 10.