By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

LEOTI Even minutes after his Stanton County girls basketball team lost 56-47 to top-seeded Spearville on Thursday in the semifinals of the Class 2A sub-state, first-year Lady Trojan coach Marty Garrison was talking about next season.

"We started three juniors, a sophomore and a freshman and we're going to be able to do summer camps and really learn what we want to do," Garrison said. "When the school year started I didn't know I would be coaching so our girls lost all of last summer."

Trailing 44-33 after three quarters, the last spark of life came back to the Trojans as they scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to trim the lead to five. It was a 45-41 deficit at the 5:37 mark when Stanton County's Lea Daniels hit a driving layup.

It would be four minutes later when the Trojans scored their next points on a short jumper by Daniels. By that time, Spearvilled had scored 10 unanswered points for what proved to be an insurmountable 55-4 lead. Despite missing their last five free throws and hit only 11-of-28 charity shots, the Lancers were simply too much inside.

"They're big inside and they do a good job on the high-low post play," Garrison said of the Lancers. "We were not going to worry about their outside shooting but it became a problem when they hit some mid-range shots."

Daniels and Gylee Martin scored 10 points apiece to pace Stanton County (10-12). Spearville's Megan Stein topped all scorers with 19 while Becca Hornung-Heeke and Alison Helfrich each contributed 10. The shorter Trojans almost battled the Lancers to a standoff in the rebounding department, trailing just 39-34 on the boards. Freshman Lindsey Erskin had 10 caroms for Stanton County while Hornung-Heeke and Emily Stein grabbed 11 apiece for Spearville.

The Lancers (19-3) take on second-seeded Syracuse in the girls championship game at 6 p.m. on Saturday for a berth in the Class 2A state tournament at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.

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Spearville 56, Stanton County 47

STANTON COUNTY (10-12) Summers 2-7 1-2 6, Batterton 0-0 0-0 0, Erskin 2-9 0-0 4, Daniels 4-9 1-4 10, Martin 4-10 1-2 10, Nichols 4-9 1-3 9, Siruta 4-7 0-0 8. Totals 20-51 4-11 47.

SPEARVILLE (19-3) Hornung-Heeke 4-15 2-3 10, L. Stein 0-1 0-0 0, Helfrich 5-7 0-4 10, Kistler 3-6 1-4 8, Offerle 0-0 0-0 0, M. Stein 6-13 7-10 19, Israel 0-2 1-6 1, E. Stein 4-9 0-1 8. Totals 22-55 11-28 56.

Stanton Co. 9 10 14 14 -- 47

Spearville 10 15 19 12 -- 56

3-point goals Stanton Co. 3-14 (Summers 1-4, Daniels 1-4, Martin 1-4, Siruta 0-2), Spearville 1-1 (Kistler 1-1). Rebounds Stanton Co. 34 (Erskin 10), Spearville 39 (Hornung-Heeke 11, E. Stein 11). Turnovers Stanton Co. 22, Spearville 18. Fouled out Stanton Co., Nichols, Siruta. Team fouls Stanton Co. 19, Spearville 14.