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Lady Cats capture tourney title

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Seniors Natalie Moore, Kirstin Lowry and Kallie O’Keefe have been putting the Louisburg girls basketball team on their backs for most of the season.

Friday’s championship game of the Louisburg Invitational was no different as each player came through at the right time. All three seniors played vital roles in the 47-41 victory over St. James Academy to win back-to-back tournament titles. The Lady Cats have now won their home tournament championship three of the last four seasons.

“It is really big for this group of girls,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “They stepped up when they needed to and the whole team really did some good things. We knew St. James was a good team and we are going to have to play hard and smart and I thought we did that for the most part.”

Moore got things started in the first quarter as she scored 12 of her team-high 21 points in the frame.

Sophomore Madisen Simpson opened the quarter with a 3-pointer that banked in, then Moore followed with 12 straight points, 10 of which came from the free-throw line. She finished the game 13-for-18 from the charity stripe.

The Lady Cats (8-5) took a 15-6 lead into the second quarter and were able to overcome a taller and bigger St. James team in the process.

With wins over Osawatomie and Shawnee Mission North to start the tournament, the Lady Cats have now won three straight and are hoping they are turning the corner on their season.

“Our team chemistry is so much better now that what it was,” Moore said. “It was good before, but we are working a lot better as a team. The underclassmen are feeding off what the seniors are doing right now and it was a really good week for us.”

Andy Brown / louisburgsportszone@gmail.com Louisburg senior Natalie Moore drives to the basket for two points during the Jan 30 championship game of the Louisburg Invitational.

Andy Brown / louisburgsportszone@gmail.com
Louisburg senior Natalie Moore drives to the basket for two points during the Jan 30 championship game of the Louisburg Invitational.

St. James made things interesting in the second quarter as it outscored Louisburg 16-7 to tie the game at 22-all at halftime. It left a nasty taste in the Lady Cats’ mouth.

So when the team ventured to the locker room, they got a nice talking to from the coach.

“We basically got our (rear end) chewed and we needed it, especially me,” Kirstin Lowry said. “We basically gave away our momentum in that second quarter and we weren’t playing hard. I know I took it to heart and we played a lot harder in the second half.”

Coach Lowry just had a simple message for the team.

“I just asked them how they wanted to be remembered,” coach Lowry said. “We gave them the game back in the second quarter and we weren’t playing well. I challenged them and they responded like good teams do and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

Kirstin definitely responded as she scored all 10 of her points in the third quarter to help give Louisburg a slim 35-30 lead going into the fourth quarter. It also opened the door for O’Keefe to shine at the most crucial time.

The game, which was tied at 37-all with under five minutes remaining, turned when O’Keefe scored five straight points. The biggest play came when she drove the length of the floor after a rebound, made the basket, was fouled and converted the three-point play.

That five-point lead was enough and St. James wasn’t able to recover. O’Keefe finished with seven points, but also added nine rebounds in the winning effort. Junior Megan Lemke also had six rebounds.

“I am just ecstatic,” O’Keefe said. “It is great to be able to win this in our senior year and we are playing well right now. It is a good feeling that is for sure.”

 

LOUISBURG                15           7            13           12 – 44

ST. JAMES                  6 16           8             11 – 41

LOUISBURG (8-5): Natalie Moore 4-12 13-18 21; Kirstin Lowry 4-10 0-1 10; Kallie O’Keefe 3-7 1-2 7; Madisen Simpson 1-9 0-0 3; Paige Buffington 0-2 3-4 3; Megan Lemke 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 13-42 18-27 47. 3-point field goals: 3, (Lowry 2, Simpson)

 

Louisburg downs Shawnee Mission North

 

On Jan. 29, Louisburg faced off with Shawnee Mission North in the second game of pool play in the Louisburg Invitational and came away with an easy 55-33 victory.

Natalie Moore came up big for the Lady Cats again as she finished with a game-high 26 points to go along with five rebounds. Sophomore Paige Buffington finished just outside of double figures with nine points and had four assists.

Kallie O’Keefe added eight points and seven rebounds and Kirstin Lowry added six rebounds in the win.

The game was tied at 9-all in the first quarter and the Lady Cats took a 23-17 lead at halftime. Louisburg pulled away even further as it outscored Shawnee Mission North 13-6 in the third quarter to pull away.

 

LOUISBURG                9             14           13           19 – 55

SM NORTH   9             8             6             10 – 33

LOUISBURG: Natalie Moore 8-12 9-11 26; Paige Buffington 2-6 4-5 9; Kallie O’Keefe 3-5 2-4 8; Madisen Simpson 2-7 0-0 6; Megan Lemke 0-2 2-2 2; Kirstin Lowry 1-9 0-0 2; Emalee Overbay 1-3 0-2 2. Totals: 17-44 17-24 55. 3-point field goals: 4, (Simpson 2, Moore, Buffington)

 

Lady Cats roll Osawatomie

 

The first game of the Louisburg Invitational didn’t provide much drama for the Lady Cats as they cruised to a 60-23 victory over Osawatomie to open pool play.

Junior Megan Lemke had one of her best games of the season as she finished with a team-high 12 points and Kirstin Lowry added 11 points in the victory.

“I will tell you what, Megan Lemke really played hard in that win over St. James and really the whole tournament,” coach Lowry said. “We asked her to guard some bigger girls in the post and she did a great job with that. She was relentless in there.”

Sophomore Madisen Simpson finished with eight points.

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