'Maids slam door on Bison playoff plans

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Lexington sophomore Klair Fagot (12) caused trouble for McCook with 12 points despite defensive efforts of Bison like sophomore Emma Kehler (30) Tuesday night in B-7 subdistrict tournament play.
Paul Pack/Courtesy Photo

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. — Leading 1-0 on a technical foul before the opening tip might sound real good...

Until you’re trailing 14-1 as the first quarter comes to an end.

The McCook High girls faced this dilemma against Lexington in Tuesday’s B-7 subdistrict semifinal.

Even following their first basket, the Bison faced football-like deficits of 17-3, 21-7 and 31-17.

The numbers just never lined up for coach Amy Schiel’s No. 2-seeded team especially considering McCook lost as many turnovers (25) as scored points (25).

“Lexington’s pressure really affected us throughout the game,” Scheil said following the 50-25 defeat. “It was a tough way to end the season because we didn’t play up to our potential. We had been playing so well.”

Indeed. The Bison (10-11 final record) had gone 6-3 starting exactly one month earlier on Jan. 12 with a home win over Minden.

They beat the Minutemaids, 41-39, three nights later and took a lead before Tuesday night’s rematch even tipped off.

“The technical (foul on Lexington) was because they didn’t have their (score) book on the table at 10 minutes (before tip-off),” Scheil explained as senior Mackenzie Smith shot two free throws and made one.

Sadly, the Bison didn’t see another shot go through their net until Lex led 14-1.The Minutemaids (7-18 record) started super sharp as senior Courtney Hanson and sophomore Klair Fagot canned early three-point shots.

Fagot’s trifecta forged a 7-1 Lex lead with Hanson putting her team in front by that 14-1 margin through one quarter.

Freshman Sarah Treffer hadn’t really even warmed up on what would be her game-high 18 points.

Treffer and Fagot teamed for 30 of those 50 Lex points. McCook fans will likely be seeing plenty of both during the next two seasons.

Leading Bison scorer Mackenzie Smith sliced the margin to 17-7 but then promptly sprained her ankle.

Smith returned for the second half, but McCook simply couldn’t make a serious run during this win-or-you’re done-playoff game.

Sophomore Liviya Wier’s putback pulled the Bison within 32-21 — only to see another 7-0 Lexington surge make it 39-21.

Senior Jayceea Hanson’s shot block on defense was a final highlight.

The Bison couldn’t draw closer while finishing with their lowest total since a 42-13 opening loss to Colby, Kan., on Dec. 6.

“No excuses, we just didn’t play well,” Scheil concluded. “But I was very pleased with the amount of improvement the girls showed throughout the season.”

Smith’s nine points paced McCook in the final high school basketball game for her and post partner Jayceea Hanson.

Lexington meets North Platte in tonight’s B-7 subdistrict final at 6:30 p.m. The winner plays for a state tourney spot next week.

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