By KEVIN THOMPSON
JETMORE - The Satanta girls were all set to check off yet another season goal from their pre-season list — a state tournament berth in 1A-Division I next week in Emporia.
What a great way for the four seniors — all starters — to finish their careers.
But the Lady Wildcats of Minneola had other plans, and the No. 3-seed took out the top-seed 62-58 here Saturday night in the Class 1A-Division I sub-state final to advance to the tournament instead.
The Lady Indians found themselves down 13-6 after three straight turnovers at the end of the first quarter led to seven Wildcat points. Kassy Ptacek dominated, scoring 11 of Minneola's points in that quarter.
The Indians fought their way back, though. With 19 possessions in the second quarter alone, they cut the lead to three a number of times before ending four down at the break.
In the third, after Aubree Young had to sit after picking up her third foul at the 5:01 mark, Satanta buckled down. A pair of free throws by Allee Young and two more by Kelsey Blair tied the game at 32-all.
Blair hit another free throw and a three-pointer to give Satanta a four-point lead, but Morgan Minor got the Wildcats back into it with a 3- and a 2-point field goal.
The third period ended tied at 41.
Minor continued her hot streak with two consecutive field goals for a Wildcat lead early in the fourth. Two baskets by Satanta's Minerba Gonzalez closed the lead to two and a traditional 3-point play by Allee Young gave the Indians the lead again at 48-47 with 5:14 to play.
Two more Indian turnovers led to four more points by Minor. Two more turnovers later and Minneola had a 55-48 lead.
With 1:34 left, Allee Young put back an offensive rebound and Aubree Young sank two free throws when Ptacek fouled out to pull Satanta to within one with 1:23 remaining.
Down five with seven seconds left, Stephanie Caro buried a three to get Satanta within two, but Kara Minor sank both free throws with four seconds left to seal the Wildcat win.
"It was really tough," Blair said after the loss. "We gave it everything we could. For us four seniors, it hit us hard. We didn't dominate like we should have. We just didn't play right."
Satanta had won the semifinal game on Thursday in pretty easy fashion, but Blair said her team seemed lax.
"We came out a little tired and our legs weren't there," she said.
The senior, who played the entire game until fouling out with four seconds remaining, led Satanta with 17 points. Ten of her 13 missed shots, though, were from three-point land.
Gonzalez followed with 13 points before fouling out.
On a night when the Indians needed a total game, it didn't happen. Minneola won the rebound battle 30-18, and Satanta committed an uncharacteristic 22 turnovers. They also had three starters foul out.
"Minneola played really well," Satanta coach Mike Heater said. "In the warm-up they were doing that loose ball cherry drill. It seemed like every time there was a loose ball we're bending over for it and their girls are diving in and getting it. They hustled and did the right things."
Even in the loss, Heater was proud of his team's effort.
"They left it on the court," he said. "That's what I told them at halftime. I said, 'Win or lose, can you look yourself in the mirror and say you left it out on the floor?' They played hard."
The Wildcats double-teamed Aubree Young through much of the game, especially on the pick and roll, Heater said, and that limited his 5-10 senior's touches and rebounds.
"They had a good double team, sometimes triple team and I just couldn't find the open person," the senior Young said. "Most of the time I could kick it out to my sister (Allee), but their hands were up and they played good defense."
Though disappointed in the outcome, things lined up for Satanta (18-4) this season, Heater said.
"That's all we could ask for was to be in this position at this time of year," he said. "They did everything I asked of them."
Minneola 13 13 15 21 -- 62
Satanta 6 16 19 17 -- 58
Minneola — Ptacek 9 3-8 22, M. Minor 6 0-2 13, K. Minor 4 4-4 12, Al. Ruiz 0 1-2 1, Walker 1 0-0 2, Au. Ruiz 4 4-7 12. Totals 24-45 12-23 62.
Satanta — Long 2 0-0 4, Ke. Blair 6 3-3 17, All. Young 3 5-7 11, Caro 2 1-4 6, Gonzalez 5 3-6 13, Au. Young 2 3-3 7. Totals 20-50 15-23 58.
3-point goals — Minneola 2-3 (Ptacek 1, M. Minor 1), Satanta 3-15 ( Ke. Young 2, Caro 1). Rebounds — Minneola 30 (Au. Ruiz 8, Ptacek 7, K. Minor 7), Satanta 18 (All. Young 6, Gonzalez 6). Turnovers - Minneola 25, Satanta 22. Fouls — Minneola 19, Satanta 21. Fouled out — Minneola (Ptacek), Satanta (Ke. Blair, Gonzalez, Au. Young).