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Lady Cats end season with back-to-back wins over Harrisonville, Paola

Louisburg sophomore McKenna Lohse (4) celebrates with her teammates after a made basket Thursday at home against Harrisonville.

In what began as a rough start for the Louisburg girls basketball team, Thursday’s final regular season game ended what was a winning stretch for the Lady Cats.

Louisburg outlasted Harrisonville, 40-33, at home to finish 5-3 in its final eight games after starting the season with eight straight losses.

The victory over Harrisonville, and Paola earlier in the week, gave the Lady Cats the momentum they need as they head into postseason play this Tuesday.

“Finishing the season with a win at home was a great way to end,” Louisburg coach Adrianne Lane said. “Winning both games last week was a great way to end our season. This was the first week all season we did win 2 games and I know that this will help the girls confidence going into substate week. 

“I am so proud of the girls and their efforts in the second half of the season. We ended 5-3 the last eight games of the season and I think the girls have improved a lot since the first game.”

The Lady Cats were able to get the win without having to score a field goal in the fourth quarter. Louisburg was able to do its damage from the free-throw line. 

All eight of its points in the fourth quarter came at the line as Louisburg was able to ice the game away after taking an eight point lead going into the final frame.

For the game, the Lady Cats were 15 of 21 from the free-throw line and were able to keep Harrisonville at arm’s length. 

“Our free-throw shooting on Thursday was a huge positive,” Lane said. “We only scored free throws in the fourth quarter, which won the game for us. I also felt like every girl contributed to that win.”

Louisburg junior Ashlyn Kuhlman led the Lady Cats in scoring with 12 points on the night, including three 3-pointers. She also tallied a team-high five blocked shots and three steals. 

Louisburg junior Sami Lane pulls up for a jumper Thursday against Harrisonville.

Jillian Asher added nine points in the win, with seven of those coming from the free-throw line. Zyleigh Melton, Sami Lane and Ally Brown each finished with five.

Sophomore McKenna Lohse had a big night on the boards for Louisburg as she pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. Sabra Brueggen and Lane each pulled down five rebounds, while Brueggen also had three steals.

“I honestly think this was the best we had done all season with handling pressure,” coach Lane said. “The girls did a good job taking care of the basketball and not throwing it away in pressure situations. 

“The posts did a great job rebounding and holding their position against a very physical Harrisonville team. The posts also did a great job on offense and holding their position to get the ball inside. When we get the ball inside and kick it back out, we have a higher shooting percentage.”

Louisburg will begin postseason play on Feb. 27 as the No. 14 seed in sub-state. The Lady Cats will travel to No. 3 Ottawa for the sub-state semifinals. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Prime Accounting

LOU 8 13 11 8 — 40

HAR 2 9 13 9 — 33

LOUISBURG (6-14): Ashlyn Kuhlman 4-14 1-2 12; Jillian Asher 1-5 7-8 9; Zyleigh Melton 1-1 2-2 5; Sami Lane 1-7 2-2 5; Ally Brown 1-3 3-4 5; McKenna Lohse 2-6 0-3 4. Totals: 10-43 15-21 40. 3-point field goals: 5, (Kuhlman 3, Melton, Lane)

Lady Cats get road win at Paola

PAOLA — In a lot of cases, free throws can decide the difference between and win a loss.

It was certainly the difference for Louisburg last Tuesday in Paola. The Lady Cats made 12 of 14 free-throw attempts in the second half, many of those coming in the fourth quarter, as they were able to hold on for a 39-35 victory over the Panthers.

“Free throws were big for us,” Louisburg coach Adrianne Lane said. “We had several players come up and hit them late in the game. They were huge and accounted for a lot of our points the second half.”

Juniors Jillian Asher and Sabra Brueggen each hit jumpers to begin the fourth quarter to give Louisburg a four-point lead. The Lady Cats kept the advantage the rest of the way as they went 8-for-10 from the line, including makes from Ashlyn Kuhlman, Shylar Whiting, Asher and Brueggen.

Louisburg jumped out to an early 11-3 lead to start the game, but the Panthers rallied back to eventually take the lead in both the second and third quarters.

Louisburg junior Shylar Whiting pulls up for a shot in the lane last week against Paola.

Kuhlman led the Lady Cats in scoring with 10 points to go along with four rebounds and three blocks. Whiting also finished with eight points, including 6 of 7 from the free-throw line. 

Sophomore McKenna Lohse gave the Lady Cats a spark the needed off the bench. Lohse nearly had double-double with eight points and nine rebounds and gave Louisburg some crucial minutes on the inside.

“It was good win and it was great to get that win on the road,” Lane said. “I don’t think it was our best appearance of the year, but we had some girls come off the bench that did really well. 

“I thought Kenna had a great game and she definitely kept us in it,” Lane said. “She hasn’t played a ton this year, but she really stepped up and made a difference.”

LOU 11 6 10 12 — 39

PAO 9 7 9 10 — 35

LOUISBURG: Ashlyn Kuhlman 2-6 4-4 10; Shylar Whiting 1-4 6-7 8; McKenna Lohse 4-9 0-0 8; Jillian Asher 2-9 1-2 5; Sabra Brueggen 2-6 1-1 5; Sami Lane 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 12-48 12-14 39. 3-point field goals: 3, (Kuhlman 2, Lane)