Eagles soar over Lions
Girls’ class 1A regional basketball tournaments began across the state last night and Keota High School was the site for a very competitive game between the home school and the Lone Tree Lions.
By the time 32 minutes of basketball had been played, which featured 12 lead changes and nine ties through the first three quarters, the Eagles had outlasted Lone Tree for a 61 – 51 victory.
Junior Madison Sieren started off the scoring for the game with a 3-point basket with 7:03 left in the first quarter. Lone Tree would answer in a back-and-forth first quarter that ended in a Lions 9 – 7 advantage.
“Lone Tree has a lot of size. They are very quick and aggressive. They were killing us getting to the rim. We don’t see that size or physicality in our league. They are a high-quality team,” Keota head coach Jenny Hobbs said.
The second quarter was much of the same, characterized by both teams going on runs at different times. The halftime score was 24 – 22, Lone Tree still holding to its narrow edge.
“We kept our composure really well. That’s one of the strengths of this team. They are very level-headed and just play the game. I never worry about them when we’re in a tight game like this because I know they aren’t going to get flustered over a referee’s call or a missed shot,” Hobbs added.
After an entire half of extremely close basketball between these two teams, it would have been strange to have expected the third quarter to be any different. The third quarter didn’t disappoint. The Eagles and Lions treated the crowd to more dramatic runs and the fourth quarter began with the Lions still claiming a two-point advantage, 41 – 39.
Sieren hit two free-throws with 5:03 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Keota a 46 – 45 lead. After a missed shot attempt by Lone Tree and an Eagles defensive rebound, junior Callie Greiner hit a 3-point shot to increase the Keota lead to 49 – 45.
“I really think that over the last five or six games we are starting to shoot the ball well. We still could do it better but it’s getting closer to where we were at last year,” Hobbs commented.
Just over a minute later the Lions had tied the game at 49 but Sieren embodied her entire team’s will to win and hit a 3-point shot to give the Eagles back the lead at 52 – 49. From there the Eagles used solid defense and free-throw shooting to seal the victory.
The Eagles are now 13 – 9 overall. They will play again on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Winfield-Mt. Union for a spot in the regional semifinals against the winner of Iowa Mennonite/Prince of Peace.