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Kuhlman’s late 3-pointer helps Lady Cats steal road win at Tonganoxie

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone

Louisburg junior Shylar Whiting puts up a shot in the lane Tuesday at Tonganoxie. Whiting finished with eight points, with six of those coming in the final quarter.

TONGANOXIE — It wasn’t the best shooting night of the year for Louisburg.

Shots weren’t falling, free throws rimmed out and the Lady Cats lost the turnover battle Tuesday against Tonganoxie. Despite all that going against them, Louisburg found a way a win — on the road.

Against a Tonganoxie team they lost to by double digits in the season opener, the Lady Cats traveled to Tonganoxie and left with a gritty 40-39 victory over the Chieftains.

“They have no quit in them and I think that is the theme for the season,” Louisburg coach Adrianne Lane said. “Our fourth quarters have been awesome, so if we can put together a complete game like we play in the fourth then we would be hard to beat. But the girls hung in there despite a tough shooting night. We couldn’t make anything around the basket. They just did a great job.”

It was looking like a tough road loss with under a minute left and the Lady Cats down by two points. However, junior Ashlyn Kuhlman got a wide open look from 3-point range with 16 seconds left and knocked it down to put Louisburg up one.

Tonganoxie had two different opportunities to try and take the lead in the final seconds, but the Lady Cat defense came up big and Kuhlman’s shot was the game-winner.

“That was a huge shot,” Lane said. “Ash hadn’t had a great shooting night until then and I was very proud of her to have the confidence to shoot it. That would have been a hard spot for anyone and she didn’t hesitate. Shooters have to keep shooting and I am glad that she did. When she shot it I knew it was going in.”

Louisburg did have a difficult shooting night as the Lady Cats converted just 25 percent of their shots and were under 50 percent from the free-throw line. Mix that in with 15 turnovers and it was a recipe for loss.

Louisburg junior Jillian Asher pulls up for a shot Tuesday against Tonganoxie. Asher led all scorers with 13 points.

Instead, the Lady Cats found a way to get an important win that helps them in the postseason standings and to try and get a playoff spot with four games remaining.

It didn’t look promising for Louisburg as it found itself down six points late in the third quarter. With the offense struggling, juniors Jillian Asher and Shylar Whiting gave it a jump start.

Asher hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to cut the lead to three, then Whiting hit a pair of jumpers to start the fourth quarter to give Louisburg a 34-33 advantage.

Prime Accounting

After a Tonganoxie basket that put the Chieftains in front, the Lady Cats answered right back when Asher found Whiting for a layup and Louisburg had a 36-35 lead midway through the fourth.

Tonganoxie had an 39-37 lead late in the contest, but Kuhlman had a wide open look at the top of the key and knocked down what turned out to the be the game-winning 3-pointer with 16 seconds remaining.

It was a victory the Lady Cats (4-12) needed and were able to avenge a loss from earlier in the season at the same time.

“Our defense was just a lot better than the last time we played them,” Lane said. “We contained a lot better than we did the first time. The first game it seemed like they were just kicking it out and shooting 3s and I don’t even know that they did a lot of that. Our goal was to contain and not let them kick out and shoot wide open 3-pointers.”

Asher was big offensively for Louisburg as she scored a game-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.

Kuhlman finished with eight points, but was active on the glass as she recorded a team-high 15 rebounds. Whiting also had eight points and two steals.

Junior Sabra Brueggen and sophomore Zyleigh Melton each had five rebounds, while Brueggen had a team-high three assists.

Louisburg will try for back-to-back wins tonight as the Lady Cats host Spring Hill. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

LOU 5 15 10 10 — 40

TON 7 12 14 6 — 39

LOUISBURG (4-12): Jillian Asher 3-4 4-4 13; Ashlyn Kuhlman 3-16 1-2 8; Shylar Whiting 4-14 0-0 8; Morgan Latham 2-7 0-2 4; Sami Lane 1-6 0-0 3; Ally Brown 1-2 1-1 3; Zyleigh Melton 0-2 1-4 1. Totals: 14-56 7-15 40. 3-point field goals: 5, (Asher 3, Kuhlman, Lane)