Buffington, Melton named all-league honorable mention

Louisburg senior Carson Buffington was named to the All-Frontier League team for the fourth consecutive season.

In a league that featured the state
runner-up, the third-place finisher in Class 4A and another state tournament
qualifier, the Louisburg girls basketball schedule was a difficult one.

The Frontier League provided a lot
of difficult competition for the Lady Cats as they finished their season with a
10-11 record. Despite that, the league coaches recognized a pair of Louisburg
players for postseason honors.

The All-Frontier League team was
released earlier this week and Louisburg senior Carson Buffington and sophomore
Madilyn Melton were both honorable mention selections.

“I
think like most of the coaches, I would like to have had more of our players
recognized and in higher positions,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “I
thought we had some girls that deserved recognition based on the scope of their
work and the things they did for our team. With that said, I understand that
there were a lot of really good players in our league.

“Both
of these girls, along with all of their teammates, are great representatives of
our program, school and community. We all couldn’t be more proud of this group
of girls and we are very thankful to have shared in this journey with them.”

For
Buffington, this was the fourth consecutive season that she was recognized with
an all-league selection. In 21 games, Buffington was second on the team with
eight points a game and also averaged seven rebounds, which led the Lady Cats,
to go along with 3.2 steals a contest.

“It’s hard to express just how good Carson was for
her team this year,” Lowry said. “It wasn’t just on game nights, but every day
in practice with how she competed and her great leadership. She never took
a day off and always led by example. Carson is one of the hardest working
players that I have worked with coaching basketball – boys or girls.

“She
was relentless as a player and was always the first one on the floor for a
loose ball. She is fantastic example for all the younger girls in
Louisburg about the level of commitment and determination that is required to
be successful on and off the court.”

Louisburg sophomore Madilyn Melton led the Lady Cats in scoring at 14 points a game and was named an all-league honorable mention.

Melton
earned her first all-league honor for the Lady Cats as the Louisburg sophomore
led the team in scoring with 14 points and six rebounds per game.

“Madilyn
has committed herself and puts in a great deal of work to improve as a player
for her team,” Lowry said. “Not only that, she does so many of those things we
talk about when it comes to effort, character, being unselfish and she does it
all with great pride. What was most impressive about Madilyn this season was
her growth as a leader that she earned through her hard work and unselfishness.”

Piper
(state runner-up), Baldwin (third-place finisher) and Eudora (state qualifier)
led the league with three selections each, while Piper had two first-team selections
in Ryan Cobbins and Ali Vigil. Baldwin also had two first team honorees in
Kayla Kurtz and Macey Frost, while Eudora’s Riley Hiebert was also named to the
first team.

ALL-FRONTIER LEAGUE GIRLS BASKETBALL

FIRST TEAM

Ryan Cobbins, Piper, senior

Ali Vigil, Piper, junior

Kayla Kurtz, Baldwin, senior

Riley Hiebert, Eudora, junior

Macey Frost, Baldwin, senior

SECOND TEAM

Bella Todd, Spring Hill, senior

Lauren Delker, Spring Hill, senior

Kate Ogle, Baldwin, senior

Harper Schreiner, Eudora, freshman

Evelyn Vazquez, Piper, sophomore

HONORABLE MENTION

Carson Buffington, Louisburg,
senior

Hallie Hoffine, Bonner Springs,
senior

Reagan Hiebert, Eudora, junior

Madilyn Melton, Louisburg,
sophomore

Brayden Hanf, Paola, junior

Anna Soetaert, Tonganoxie, senior




Lady Cats can’t slow down Parsons’ Taylor in season-ending loss

Louisburg senior Carson Buffington drives toward the basket on Parsons’ Nena Taylor on Thursday during the Class 4A sub-state semifinal at Parsons High School.

PARSONS – Going into Thursday’s
Class 4A sub-state semifinal game, the Louisburg girls basketball team knew if it
was going to leave Parsons with a win, the Lady Cats were going to have to slow
down the Vikings’ best player – Nena Taylor.

As much as the Lady Cats tried,
there was no slowing Taylor and her Vikings teammates.

Mixed in with a slow start
offensively, Louisburg had a tough time containing Taylor as Parsons handed the
Lady Cats a 50-44 loss and ended their season one game short of a sub-state
championship.

“The one thing that is great about
it is that they are so disappointed,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “They
didn’t want to be done. It says a lot about this group that they wanted to play
together for another game. They are disappointed, but at the same time they are
disappointed for the right reasons. It hurts for sure.”

Offensively, Louisburg struggled
to get going as it scored two points in the first quarter before picking up the
pace that led to a 22-point fourth quarter as it tried to rally. The rally, unfortunately
for the Lady Cats, came up short thanks to Taylor.

The Lady Cats had a tough time
keeping Taylor out of the lane as she scored a bulk of her game-high 34 points
around the basket or at the free-throw line. She also added 12 rebounds to her
line for the double-double.

“She is a great player and will be
a good player again next year,” Lowry said of Taylor. “She is really talented.
We tried to do some different things with her and I thought the girls battled
better in the second half with her, but she is going to do what she does.”

Lady Cat sophomore Brooklyn Diederich puts up a runner at the buzzer Thursday in Parsons.

Louisburg stayed within striking
distance of Parsons for much of the game and trailed by just six points early
in the third thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Kennia Hankinson.

Next, it was Taylor’s turn to
answer as she went on a 10-0 run on her own and eventually helped give Parsons
a 15-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Cats chipped away at the
Parsons lead and eventually cut it to six with 30 seconds left after a couple
baskets from sophomore Madilyn Melton, but Louisburg could get no closer.

Melton led the Lady Cats in
scoring with 19 points and also had a team-high seven rebounds. Hankinson was
next with nine points and senior Carson Buffington had seven points, five
rebounds, six deflections and four steals in her final game.

Louisburg senior Kennia Hankinson drives past a Parsons defender Thursday during the Class 4A sub-state tournament.

Sophomore Alyse Moore had a
team-high seven steals to lead the Lady Cats on defense and also had six
rebounds and five points. Junior Haley Cain had a team-high five assists to go
along with six rebounds.

“I knew they were going to
continue to battle,” Lowry said of his team’s rally. “What is great about it is
we have younger players that are battling their tails off and they are going to
be hungry coming back next year. I also can’t say enough about our leadership. I
can’t say enough about our captains Carson and Haley, and even our younger
players are starting to be leaders now like Alyse, Madilyn and Brooklyn
(Diederich). They turned into great leaders right in front of us here at the
end of the season. It is a result of what the program has done throughout the
years.”

Louisburg finished its season with
a 10-11 record and saw improvement from a year ago, but the end of the year is
always difficult, especially as Buffington and Hankinson played their final
game as Lady Cats.

“I thought we competed all year
and they did what I asked them to do,” Lowry said. “The personal and collective
growth of this group was fantastic and I can’t ask any more of the kids than
what they gave here at the end. I am proud to be their coach.”

LOU               2             10           10           22 – 44

PAR 12           10           15           13 – 50

LOUISBURG (10-11): Madilyn Melton
6-12 6-13 19; Kennia Hankinson 3-9 0-0 9; Carson Buffington 2-5 2-4 7; Alyse
Moore 2-8 1-2 5; Brooklyn Diederich 1-8 0-0 3; Haley Cain 0-5 1-2 1. Totals:
14-49 10-21 44. 3-point field goals: 6, (Hankinson 3, Buffington, Diederich,
Melton)




Lady Cats down Paola on emotional Senior Night

The Louisburg girls basketball team celebrates following its 54-48 victory over rival Paola on Friday in Louisburg. The Lady Cats are now 10-10 on the season.

The Louisburg girls basketball
team squared off with Paola on Friday and the Lady Cats wanted to honor their
two seniors – Carson Buffington and Kennia Hankinson – with a win in their
final home game.

Louisburg didn’t disappoint its
two seniors as it ended the regular season with a 54-48 win over Paola and
avenged a close loss from earlier in the season. It all culminated in what was
a special night for everyone involved.

“It was the best feeling for me,”
Buffington said. “Paola has always been our rival, but to beat them for the
final time that we will ever play them is just really special.

“It was really emotional out
there. There was a lot going on, but we just had to remain level-headed and
keep believing in ourselves. Even when Kennia and I both got into foul trouble,
we just had to keep moving forward.”

The Lady Cats (10-10) started and
finished the game strong as they got out to a big lead, gave it up, but put
together a good rally in the second half to get back in the game.

Louisburg jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the first quarter thanks to seven points from sophomore Madilyn Melton, but the Panthers responded to the run. Paola held Louisburg to just six points in the second quarter as the Lady Cats battled foul problems.

Senior Carson Buffington goes up for shot Friday against Paola.

Buffington had to sit for much of the second quarter with foul trouble, and during that time, Paola jumped out to a 23-19 halftime lead.

Foul problems got even worse in
the third quarter when the team’s leading scorers, Buffington and Melton, along
with Hankinson, all picked up four fouls.

The Lady Cat bench responded and kept the game close as Brooklyn Diederich swished 3-pointer to give Louisburg a 31-30 lead, but Paola would take the lead back until the final seconds of the third.

Hankinson knocked down a 3-pointer
at the buzzer to give the Lady Cats a 36-35 lead going into the fourth quarter
and gave her team some much needed confidence.

“It was huge, but I thought our
bench was really good all night and the energy they brought,” Louisburg coach
Shawn Lowry said. “Different girls were making plays and our bench was so
excited and happy for their teammates that were on the floor and they were
feeding off that. When Kennia hit that shot, it was a boost of adrenaline for
everyone and it led into our fourth quarter.”

Senior Kennia Hankinson drives to the basket Friday against Paola.

Paola either had the lead or the game was tied for half of the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cats went in front on a Buffington 3-pointer. Paola tied it again, but junior Haley Cain broke the game open with a 3-pointer with 3 minutes and 47 seconds left in the game to give Louisburg the lead back and it wouldn’t relinquish it.

“It was a deep a three for sure,”
Lowry said of the shot. “It was just another kid stepping up when we needed it.
I was just so proud of their togetherness and how special that is.

“A lot of different girls had to
step up. Whether it was Brooklyn working her tail off on defense, or Sydni (Keagle)
coming off the bench and gave the minutes that she gave. They continue to
battle and push. No matter what was happening, the girls refused to lose this
game on Senior Night for those two seniors. It was awesome to see and great to
be a part of.”

Buffington was then able to ice
the game at the free-throw line as she knocked down 3 of 4 attempts to help put
the game away.

Buffington made a lasting memory
for the Wildcat crowd as she led all scorers with 18 points to go along with
eight rebounds and a team-high four steals.

“You talk about leadership and
putting the team on her shoulders, Carson provided all of that for us,” Lowry
said. “We needed the ball to be in her hands and she made some big free throws
there down the stretch.  That is what she
is and what a great way for both seniors to finish out their career on their
home floor. You can’t draw it up any better.”

Melton also scored in double
figures for the Lady Cats as she finished with 14 points, while sophomore Alyse
Moore had seven points and a team-high nine rebounds and four steals. Diederich
also had a team-high six deflections and Cain led Louisburg with five assists.

“It felt pretty amazing,
especially since everyone contributed to it and we all just came together and
came out with a lot of energy and we were able to get the win,” Hankinson said.

Postseason play now begins for the
Lady Cats as they earned the No. 11 seed and will travel to No. 6 Parsons (14-6)
for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Thursday. The winner of that game will face the winner
between No. 3 Baldwin (17-1) and No. 14 Atchison (7-13) on Saturday for the
sub-state championship.

“We are going to take a road trip
down to Parsons and they have a really nice player and a really nice team,”
Lowry said. “It will be a challenge, but we just want a shot to get in the
sub-state championship game and hopefully we can go down there and play well.”

LOU               13           6             17           18 – 54

PAO               8             15           12           13 – 48

LOUISBURG (10-10): Carson
Buffington 5-6 7-8 18; Madilyn Melton 5-14 4-9 14; Alyse Moore 1-6 5-9 7; Haley
Cain 2-6 1-3 6; Kennia Hankinson 1-9 0-2 3; Brooklyn Diederich 1-5 0-0 3; Sydni
Keagle 1-4 0-0 2; Erin Lemke 0-0 1-2 1. Totals: 16-51 18-33 54. 3-point field
goals: 4, (Buffington, Hankinson, Cain, Diederich)




Bench helps Lady Cats in win over Metro Academy

Freshman Delaney Wright drives to the basket on a Metro Academy defender last Tuesday in Louisburg.

It wasn’t a typical game for the
Louisburg girls basketball team last Tuesday as it prepared for its next to
last game of the season against rival Paola.

The Lady Cats hosted Metro
Academy, an Olathe school that is not part of the Kansas State High School
Activities Association, and one the team wasn’t familiar with.

Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry
decided to use that opportunity to go down deeper into his bench to get players
some varsity time ahead of postseason play. Several Lady Cats made an impact on
the game as they came away with a 46-36 win and picked up their second straight
victory in the process.

Lowry subbed in five players at a
time through most of the game and the Lady Cats were able to wear down Metro
Academy.

“It was an opportunity for us to
look at some different lineups or rotations for postseason looks,” Lowry said. “It
wasn’t our Senior Night and it was a different opponent than we are used to. It
allowed us to do some different things and gave girls an opportunity to show
what they can do.”

Junior Madilyn Melton was a force
inside for the Lady Cats as she finished with a game-high 18 points, including
an 8 for 9 performance from the free-throw line, and also had a team-high four
steals.

Junior Sydni Keagle came off the
bench and was second on the team in scoring, along with sophomore Brooklyn
Diederich, who each finished with six points.

Freshman Delaney Wright also
helped Louisburg defensively with four steals and senior Carson Buffington had
a team-high seven rebounds and four assists. Juniors Erin Lemke and Ashley
Moore, sophomores Madison Quinn and Megan Foote and freshman Jordan Mynsted
also gave the Lady Cats good minutes

“I am extremely proud of those girls
that came in off the bench,” Lowry said. “I think they were a little
shell-shocked at first, but once they settled in, I thought their defense was
really good, they caused turnovers, were active and did a really nice job.”

It was a back and forth game for
much of the first half, but the Lady Cats ended the second quarter strong as
they went on an 11-0 run thanks to baskets from Melton, Diederich, Quinn and
Mynsted to take a 27-19 halftime lead.

Metro Academy cut the Louisburg
lead to one early in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Cats went on another 8-2
run to put the game away.

“As a coach, I need to see those
starters or regular players show a little more intensity,” Lowry said. “We have
to get more intensity and that is on our captains to set the tone for us and
they will do that. They have a done it all year. It was a little different
night and had so many distractions, but now it is time to get dialed in.”

LOU               9             18           6             12 – 46

MA                11           8             10           7 – 36

LOUISBURG: Madilyn Melton 5-10 8-9
18; Brooklyn Diederich 2-4 0-0 6; Sydni Keagle 1-1 3-4 6; Erin Lemke 2-4 0-0 5;
Jordan Mynsted 2-5 0-0 4; Delaney Wright 1-4 2-3 4; Madison Quinn 0-2 2-2 2;
Carson Buffington 0-2 1-2 1. Totals: 13-45 16-20 46. 3-point field goals: 4,
(Diederich 2, Keagle, Lemke)




Defense carries Lady Cats in win over Bonner Springs

Louisburg senior guard Kennia Hankinson pushes the ball up the floor Thursday during the Lady Cats’ game with Bonner Springs in Louisburg.

It was a frustrating first half
for both Louisburg and Bonner Springs on Thursday at Louisburg High School.

The two teams combined for just 16 points offensively, and neither squad could get in any kind of rhythm.

As for the second half, Louisburg
was able to work out its kinks on offense and still made it difficult on Bonner
Springs. The Lady Cats scored 35 points in the second half and rolled to a
47-21 win as they got a nice victory heading into their final week of the
season.

“They were playing hard and our
defense set the tone for us,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “Our defense
can be really good and we are able to make adjustments out of it. I am not sure
this group knows how good they can be if they can clean up some things like
finishing at the rim, free throws and some discipline things like with our
passing. They will grind it out and work their tails off defensively, but we
have to get more offense out of our defense.”

Louisburg held Bonner Springs to
just four first half points, and while the Braves were able to score a bit more
in the second half, the Lady Cats’ defense still set the tone and it started
with junior Haley Cain.

Cain had the assignment of
shadowing Bonner Springs forward Kim Whetstone, who is the Braves’ main scoring
threat on the inside. Cain and the Lady Cats held Whetstone to just three
points and made it difficult for the Braves to score.

“I have to give credit to Haley
for that,” Lowry said. “I had her shadow (Whetstone) most of the night and she
did a good job of being physical with her and moving her out of place. Haley
has been that good defensively all year for us. Sometimes it won’t show up on
the stat sheet, but what she does is really good for our team.”

The Lady Cats (8-10) took a 12-4
lead into halftime and struggled offensively with leading scorer Madilyn Melton
in foul trouble for most of the first half with three fouls.

Louisburg picked it up in the
second half and it started with senior Carson Buffington, who was all over the
floor for the Lady Cats. Buffington was one rebound and three steals away from
recording a triple-double as she affected the game on both sides of the floor.

Buffington finished the game with
a team-high in points (16) and rebounds (nine). Defensively, she was a force as
well with 10 deflections that led to seven steals.

“This is what she has been since
she came here as a freshman,” Lowry said of Buffington. “No one will out work
her and no one will be tougher than she is. She will be that way until she
walks off that floor in her last game.”

Melton came back from foul trouble
in the second half to finish with 15 points and junior Sydni Keagle came off
the bench to finish with seven. Keagle gave the Lady Cats’ some nice minutes
with Melton on the bench in the first half.

“Our defense will hold us
together, even if we have one or two players go out with foul trouble,” Lowry
said. “I thought Sydni did a nice job for us coming off the bench and again she
plugs right in and defensively she knows where she needs to be and offensively
she gave us a boost too.”

Louisburg will try and make it two
wins in a row tonight when it hosts Metro Academy for a 5 p.m. tipoff.

LOU               4             8             14           21 – 47

BON              2             2             7             10 – 21

LOUISBURG (8-10): Carson
Buffington, 5-10 5-5 16; Madilyn Melton 5-8 5-7 15; Sydni Keagle 2-4 2-5 7;
Alyse Moore 2-11 0-0 4; Jordan Mynsted 0-0 2-3 2; Kennia Hankinson 1-10 0-0 2;
Ashley Moore 0-0 1-4 1. Totals: 15-56 15-25 47. 3-point field goals: 2,
(Buffington, Keagle).




Lady Cats fall to Eudora in home contest

Louisburg’s (from left) Brooklyn Diederich, Haley Cain and Madilyn Melton try and trap a Eudora player for a steal Tuesday in Louisburg.

The last time the Louisburg girls
basketball team squared off with Eudora, the Lady Cats walked off the court
after a 23-point loss.

It was a different game Tuesday
when Louisburg hosted Eudora in its first of four straight home contests. The Lady
Cats trailed by just six points early in the fourth quarter and were within
striking distance of the No. 9-ranked team in the state.

Instead, foul trouble and
turnovers hampered the Lady Cats in their comeback effort as they fell 49-39
and are now 7-10 on the season.

“We have to find ways to finish plays,”
Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “Defensively we are doing a good job, but we
are killing ourselves right now with turnovers, not finishing and those are
things that are on us. No one is doing that stuff to us, we are doing it to
ourselves.

“The good things is, those are
things we can fix, but it just about the focus and discipline to be able to do
it. This group wants to do the right thing, but it is just understanding and
getting execution part right.”

Louisburg trailed just 13-12 after
a back-and-forth first quarter and was down 24-19 despite seniors Carson
Buffington and Kennia Hankinson picking up three fouls. Buffington would go on
to pick up her fourth in the third quarter and the Lady Cats managed just five
points in the third.

The Lady Cats committed 24 turnovers against the Eudora zone defense and also sent the Cardinals to the free-throw line 30 times as they converted 19 of them. Louisburg made it to the line just seven times.

Eudora’s Riley Hiebert caused
Louisburg problems all night as she finished with a game-high 22 points. Harper
Schreiner added 13 and Reagan Hiebert added 11 in the win. The three Eudora
players combined for 46 of the team’s 49 points.

“We did a fairly good job at times
against the zone,” Lowry said. “Eudora has some nice players that present some
issues, in particular with their outside shooting. We didn’t contain on the drive
very well and that is some things we need to clean up on. Part of it was we did
some different defensive stuff with a 3-2, but we just got together (Tuesday) after
having no practices or school for a while, but we have to be ready either way.”

Louisburg sophomore Madilyn Melton
led Louisburg in scoring with 14 points and also had a team-high eight rebounds
in the loss. Hankinson also finished in double figures with 11 and junior Haley
Cain added seven.

Sophomore Alyse Moore and
Buffington each ended the game with six rebounds and Buffington also had a
team-high six assists.

The Lady Cats will try and get
back on track tonight when it hosts Bonner Springs. The game was originally
scheduled for Friday, but was moved up to due inclement weather. Tipoff is set
for 6 p.m.

“It is not necessarily about wins
or losses, but we need to have three good games going into postseason play,”
Lowry said. “We are going to hammer on that. It is all about how we want to
finish. How do the seniors want to finish this journey? How do their teammates
want to finish this ride together? It has to be the work we do in practice and
having a high intensity level in games.”

LOU               12           7             5             15 – 39

EUD               13           11           9             16 – 49

LOUISBURG (7-10): Madilyn Melton
6-13 2-2 14; Kennia Hankinson 3-11 2-2 11; Haley Cain 3-4 0-0 7; Alyse Moore
1-3 1-2 4; Brooklyn Diederich 1-7 0-0 3. Totals: 14-42 5-7 39. 3-point field
goals: 6, (Hankinson 3, Cain, Diederich, Moore).




Lady Cats’ rally falls short at Spring Hill

Louisburg senior Kennia Hankinson drives on Spring Hill’s Lauren Delker on Friday in Spring Hill.

SPRING HILL – The Louisburg girls
basketball team did exactly what head coach Shawn Lowry wanted them to do after
halftime.

Lowry implored his team to come out focused, play aggressive and perform well offensively. The Lady Cats did all those things as they scored 19 third quarter points to take a slim lead over Spring Hill on the road Friday.

Louisburg just couldn’t sustain
it.

Spring Hill went on a big run to
start the fourth quarter and the Lady Cats couldn’t recover in a 53-44 loss to
the Broncos at Spring Hill High School.

“We talk about the first few
minutes of that third quarter being some of the most important of the game,”
Lowry said. “It kinda sets the tone and I thought the girls really took that to
heart. I thought our leadership was really good and they were talking to each
other out there and flying around. Once we get to that position, we need to
find a way to take it to the next level.”

Louisburg (7-9) held a 36-35 lead
late in the third quarter, but Spring Hill went on a 15-3 run in the fourth
thanks to five Wildcat turnovers that turned into baskets on the other end. For
the game, Spring Hill scored 20 points off the Louisburg mistakes.

Neither team shot well from the
field, as Louisburg shot 26 percent for the game and Spring Hill made 32
percent of its shots. At the free-throw line, the Lady Cats were just 12 of 23.

“I sure like our group of kids and
I really enjoy coaching them,” Lowry said. “They give so much and they play
together and are so unselfish. For them, I am not sure they realize the team
that they can be if we can have that mentality that we can finish at the rim
and be disciplined about making our free throws. It is those two things that is
the gap for us right now and those are two of the easier parts of the game. The
kids are playing hard, the defensive effort is really good and they are
rebounding the ball for the most part, so we need to get some of those other
things cleaned up.”

Sophomore Madilyn Melton gave the
Lady Cats a big boost inside as she finished with a team-high 18 points and
nine rebounds. Fellow sophomore Alyse Moore also chipped in nine points and
eight boards.

Senior Carson Buffington also had
a big night on the glass with a team-high 14 rebounds and finished with seven
points.

After a back-and-forth first
quarter, Spring Hill started to pull away and actually led by 11 points late in
the first half. That is when the Lady Cats made their move as they outscored
Spring Hill 19-9 in the third quarter and took the lead on two different occasions
thanks to baskets from Melton and Moore.

Louisburg had its chances in the
fourth, but were just 3 for 11 in the final period from the free-throw line and
the Lady Cats weren’t able to catch back up.

Lauren Delker led Spring Hill in
scoring with 14 points and Alli Frank finished with 10. Bella Todd was also big
for Spring Hill with eight points and 13 rebounds.

The Lady Cats return home for the
final four games of the season starting Tuesday when they host Eudora.
Louisburg will then face off with Bonner Springs at home Friday.

“Eudora is going to be a really
good basketball team that we see on Tuesday, and Bonner has some really good
players on Friday and it will be tough,” Lowry said. “But I think this group is
going to respond in these last four games and I am excited to get back on the
court with them.”

LOU               10           7             19           8 – 44

SH                  12           16           9             16 – 53

LOUISBURG (7-9): Madilyn Melton
7-14 4-6 18; Alyse Moore 3-7 2-2 9; Carson Buffington 1-7 4-6 7; Kennia
Hankinson 2-15 1-5 6; Haley Cain 1-2 0-0 3; Megan Foote 0-3 1-4 1. Totals:
14-55 12-23 44. 3-point field goals: 4, (Buffington, Hankinson, Cain, Moore)




Lady Cats get big win at home over Ottawa

Louisburg sophomores Madilyn Melton (left) and Alyse Moore team up to trap an Ottawa player Friday during the Lady Cats’ 54-16 win over the Cyclones.

It had been a rough couple of
weeks for the Louisburg girls basketball team as the Lady Cats had lost five of
their last six games going into Friday’s homecoming game with Ottawa.

As it turned out, a home game was
just what the Lady Cats needed.

Louisburg jumped on Ottawa from
the start behind a strong defensive effort and rolled to a 54-16 win over the
Cyclones. The Lady Cats forced 34 Ottawa turnovers, several of which, turned
into easy baskets on the other end.

“Anytime you can hold a team to 16 points for the game, that is a good defensive effort,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “Sure we still had some breakdowns, but that is a good defensive effort.

“Ottawa has some young players
that are going to be around for the next 2-3 years and are going to be good
basketball players. It is part of their learning process now, kind of like some
of the stuff we have been through.”

The Lady Cats (7-8) also had one of their better games offensively as they shot 45 percent from the field and held Ottawa to just 16 percent from the field. Louisburg was also able to find success from the outside with six 3-pointers.

Louisburg junior Haley Cain puts up a shot Friday against Ottawa.

Louisburg made a statement early
as it outscored Ottawa 17-5 in the first quarter and never looked back.

“Defense is creating offense for us
and that was a big part of our success,” Lowry said. “We were also able to hit
some nice shots on the perimeter and I think we are getting more confidence
there. We did a lot of shooting in practice and I think our free throw shooting
improved as well.”

Sophomore Brooklyn Diederich had a
strong game offensively as she finished with a team-high 14 points, including a
pair of 3-pointers. Defensively, she was also all over the floor and led the
team with five deflections and three steals.

Senior Carson Buffington also
scored in double figures with 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore Madilyn Melton also added 10 points and finished with five
deflections and two steals on defense.

Louisburg will try for some
revenge on Friday when it competes in its final road game of the season against
Spring Hill and the Lady Cats will have some extra practice time to get ready.
Earlier in the season, the Lady Cats watched Spring Hill comeback from an
18-point deficit to steal a win and Louisburg is hoping to do the same this
time around.

“It is an interesting time of the
season, but it gives us a chance to work on some fundamental stuff and then get
ready to play our last away game of the season against Spring Hill,” Lowry
said. “The girls like playing Spring Hill and they have a lot of friends on
that team and they are excited to play them, especially after giving up an
18-point lead.”

LOU               17           10           14           13 – 54

OTT               5             5             6             0 – 16

LOUISBURG: (7-8): Brooklyn
Diederich 5-7 2-2 14; Carson Buffington 4-8 2-3 12; Madilyn Melton 4-7 2-3 10;
Alyse Moore 3-5 0-0 6; Haley Cain 1-3 1-2 4; Kennia Hankinson 1-7 0-0 3; Megan
Foote 0-1 3-5 3; Jordan Mynsted 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 19-42 10-15 54. 3-point
field goals: 6, (Buffington 2, Diederich 2, Hankinson, Cain)




Lady Cats’ rally comes up short against Paola

Louisburg sophomore Brooklyn Diederich pressures the ball during the second half of Tuesday’s game at Paola. The Lady Cats fell in a close game, 56-54.

PAOLA – The Louisburg girls
basketball team had a never-give-up attitude Tuesday when it hit the road to
face off with rival Paola.

That attitude was never more
evident than when the Lady Cats found themselves down 16 points early in the
third quarter. Some teams might have given up at that point, but Louisburg
reached down for something a little extra.

Louisburg rallied from that
deficit to take a one-point late in the fourth quarter, but didn’t have enough to
hold on in its 56-54 loss to the Panthers – a game in which Louisburg outscored
Paola by 10 in the second half.

“I am extremely proud of them,”
Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “But we have talked about this for some time
now that we have to play hard for the entire time. It can’t just be when we
feel like we have to get back in it, we have to do that throughout the game and
they are capable of doing it. With some of these young kids, I think we are
hopeful that some of that is going to click for them, or at least we are
hopeful that it will.”

Defense played a vital part of the
in the Lady Cats’ rally as they employed a frantic press and an active zone
defense that forced the Panthers into several turnovers – 23 for the game to be
exact.

Louisburg (6-8) turned those
mistakes into 14 points on the other end as they gradually crept back in the
game. Sophomore Brooklyn Diederich led the charge defensively for Louisburg as
she played at the top of zone and created a lot of havoc.

“We didn’t scheme anything
different, it was just an intensity level issue,” Lowry said. “If they can play
with that same intensity, then that defense can look that good all the time. I
have to give Brooklyn Diederich a lot of credit. We put her up at the top and
she really set the tone for us. I think other girls fed off of what she did and
a lot of credit to her in that second half.”

However, the downfall for the Lady
Cats was at the free-throw line. Louisburg converted just 9 of 26 attempts,
including several empty trips to the line late in the game.

Down two points, Louisburg missed
six straight at one time in the final minute, but got the offensive rebound
each time to give itself more chances.

The Louisburg bench including (from left) assistant Leanna Willer, head coach Shawn Lowry, Megan Foote and Kennia Hankinson celebrate a big play Tuesday in Paola.

“That is just heart,” Lowry said
of the team’s offensive rebounds. “We have talked about how free throws will
have a chance to win us a game and this was a great example of one. At the same
time, it didn’t come down to just missing those free throws, it was everything
we did up to that point. Even after missing those, we gave ourselves
opportunity after opportunity to get right back in it.”

Sophomore Madilyn Melton once
again led the Lady Cats in scoring with 20 points to go along with six rebounds
and four steals. Senior Kennia Hankinson had her best scoring game of the
season as she finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers.

Senior Carson Buffington had a
team-high 10 rebounds to go along with seven points and sophomore Alyse Moore
had eight points and three steals.

Louisburg trailed 32-20 at
halftime and then saw its deficit expand to 16 a few minutes into the second
half. The Lady Cats eventually cut the deficit to six on six straight points
from Moore, then to start the fourth quarter, Hankinson scored five quick
points to make it a two-point game before fouling out.

The Lady Cats eventually took a 46-45 lead on a 3-pointer from Diederich with 2 minutes and 50 seconds left in the game, before Paola ballooned its lead back to five at one point. Another basket by Moore with 48 seconds left cut the Paola lead to two, but the Lady Cats weren’t able to cash in at the free-throw line and Paola was able to hold on.

Louisburg will try and get back on
track today when it hosts Ottawa for homecoming. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

LOU               11           9             12           22 – 54

PAO               15           17           8             16 – 56

LOUISBURG (6-8): Madilyn Melton
7-19 5-12 20; Kennia Hankinson 5-8 0-0 14; Alyse Moore 4-6 0-6 8; Carson
Buffington 2-10 2-2 7; Brooklyn Diederich 1-4 0-0 3; Sydni Keagle 0-0 1-2 1;
Megan Foote 0-3 1-2 1. Totals: 19-50 9-26 54. 3-point field goals: 7,
(Hankinson 4, Buffington, Diederich, Melton)




Lady Cats finish sixth at Top Gun tournament

Louisburg senior Carson Buffington knocks in a 3-pointer Friday during the Lady Cats’ consolation semifinal game against Anderson County at Wellsville High School.

WELLSVILLE – It may not have been the finish the Lousiburg girls basketball team wanted Saturday during the Top Gun Tournament at Wellsville High School, but the Lady Cats still had plenty of positives to build off of in their final two games.

Louisburg lost to Topeka Hayden in
the fifth-place game Saturday, 48-34, and was a game that was much closer than
the score indicated. The Lady Cats trimmed the Hayden lead to just six with 3
minutes and 46 seconds to play, but Hayden converted from the free-throw line
to seal the win.

This was after a big win for
Louisburg as it knocked off Anderson County, 64-46, in the consolation
semifinals Friday, thanks in part again to its defense. Louisburg fell to
Wellsville, 60-28, to open tournament play Thursday.

“With the exception of Thursday’s game versus
Wellsville, I thought our defensive effort was good and helped set the tone for
our play in the tournament,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “It’s great for
our team when our defense can create offense and intensity for us because we’re
flying around and getting on the floor for loose balls. With that said we have
to continue improving at scoring the basketball when we have opportunities at
the rim.”

Offensively, the Lady Cats got good performances
from sophomore Madilyn Melton and senior Kennia Hankinson against Hayden as the
two players combined for 28 of the team’s 34 points.

Melton scored a game-high 17 points, including a 10-for-11 performance from the free-throw line. Hankinson added 11 points, including three 3-pointers that helped keep the game close.

Louisburg also had to battle Hayden’s size inside,
including forward Brooklyn Hunter. Hunter scored a team-high 13 points, but was
shadowed the entire game by junior Haley Cain.

“I thought our defensive game plan with Hayden was
good and Haley Cain battled her tail off against their good post player,” Lowry
said. “We had our opportunities late in the game but just couldn’t finish some
plays.”

Junior Sydni Keagle goes up for a steal Friday against Anderson County.

Against Anderson County, the Lady Cats used their
defense to spark their offense as they scored 24 and 19 points in the second
and third quarter, respectively.

Louisburg (6-7) took a 10-4 lead at the end of the
first quarter, but widened its lead to 13 points at halftime and 17 points
going into the final period.

Melton again had another big game for Louisburg as
she finished with 20 points and was one of three Lady Cats to score in double
figures. Cain had a big night with 12 points and Buffington added 10 points in
the win.

It didn’t go quite as well to start the tournament as
the Lady Cats had trouble scoring against a Wellsville team that was tough
defensively. Louisburg trailed 24-6 at the end of the first quarter, and after
a better second period, went scoreless in the third quarter and sealed its
fate.

Following the tournament, Top Gun officials released
their awards and Buffington earned a spot on the tournament’s all-academic team.

Louisburg will try and bounce back this week with a
pair of wins as it travels to Paola tonight for a rivalry matchup and then will
host Ottawa on Friday for homecoming.

LOU               3             11           5             15 – 34

HAY               11           8             12           17 – 48

LOUISBURG (6-7): Madilyn Melton 3
10-11 17; Kennia Hankinson 3 2-2 11; Carson Buffington 0 2-4 2; Alyse Moore 0
2-8 2; Haley Cain 1 0-0 2. Totals: 7 16-25 34. 3-point field goals: 4,
(Hankinson 3, Melton)

LOU               10           24           19           11 – 64

AC                  4             17           13           12 – 46

LOUISBURG: Madilyn Melton 7 6-8
20; Haley Cain 5 2-2 12; Carson Buffington 4 0-0 10; Megan Foote 3 0-0 7;
Brooklyn Diederich 2 0-0 5; Kennia Hankinson 1 2-4 4; Alyse Moore 2 0-2 4;
Madison Quinn 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25 10-16 64. 3-point field goals: 4, (Buffington
2, Diederich, Foote)

LOU               6             15           0             7 – 28

WEL              24           13           17           6 – 60

LOUISBURG: Madilyn Melton 4 0-2 8;
Carson Buffington 2 0-0 6; Jordan Mynsted 2 0-0 5; Brooklyn Diederich 2 1-2 5;
Haley Cain 1 0-0 3; Megan Foote 0 1-4 1. Totals: 11 1-9 28. 3-point field
goals: 4, (Buffington 2, Mynsted, Cain)