Lady Jays, Buffaloes set for title game after wins in the Hi-Plains semifinals

1/24/2014

By KEVIN THOMPSON

By KEVIN THOMPSON

sports@gctelegram.com

The Cimarron Lady Jays moved into Saturday's final of the Hi-Plains League Tournament for the eighth time in the past nine years with a 62-26 win over Southwestern Heights on Thursday night.

But coach David Ediger had to be wondering where his team disappeared to for nearly eight minutes Thursday night against Southwestern Heights.

After playing a nearly flawless first quarter in the second semifinal of the evening, Cimarron seemed anything but the 9-1 team that averages 72 points a game in the second quarter.

A scrappy Heights squad rendered the Jays nearly powerless, holding them to just four points on two late field goals to close a 16-9 gap to just 20-17 at the break.

Ediger watched as his team went 6 minutes and 30 seconds before scoring in the second quarter while committing five turnovers and looking bewildered by the Lady Mustangs' tenacity on both sides of the ball.

Whatever Ediger said to his girls at halftime, however, seemed to make a huge impact as they came back with a 42-point performance in the second half and the defense held the Mustangs to just nine points in the final 16 minutes.

"I told them at halftime that I was done yelling at them," Ediger said. "You can either play the way we know how to play, or you can just sit down. It's that simple."

His girls know how to play and they care about winning, he said. The first half they played as individuals instead of as a team; in the second half, they teamed up.

They responded in the positive, Ediger said, and it gets them to the finals.

Ashtynn Burns led Cimarron with 20 points, shooting 7 for 10 from the field, including a trio of 3-pointers.

Morgan Ediger chipped in 12 as eight Jays scored.

After Heights closed to within a point with a field goal to open the second half, Cimarron went on a 26-5 run in the quarter, scoring on 13 of their 15 possessions, while the Mustangs turned the ball over on seven of theirs.

Heights finished with just eight field goals (25 percent shooting) and were just 8 for 21 from the free throw line.

The win sets up a rematch of last year's final when Cimarron defeated Meade 75-61 for their fourth tournament title.

Cimarron (10-1) beat Meade twice before the Christmas break, but Ediger knows his girls will have to be ready for the Lady Buffaloes (8-2).

"They're a good team. They present a lot of challenges for anybody, and we're going to have to come ready to play," he said. "I told the girls we're going to have to match their intensity for the whole game because they'll be fired and ready to go."

That game is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Perryman Athletic Complex.

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Southwestern Heights 9 8 7 2 -- 26

Cimarron 16 4 24 16 -- 62

SWHeights (6-6)--Amparan 1 4-8 7, LaPoint 3 0-0 6, DelTorre 1 1-4 3, Jimeniz 0 0-4 0, Chavez 1 0-0 2, Loya 2 2-2 7, Rush 0 0-1 0, Chavez-Caro 0 1-2 1. Totals 8-31 8-21 26.

Cimarron (10-1)--Dupree 2 0-0 5, Burns 7 3-3 2-0, Meis 3 0-0 6, Moler 1 1-2 3, Hoskinson 1 5-8 7, Ediger 5 0-1 12, K. Bailon 4 0-0 8. Totals 23-51 10-18 62.

3-point goals--SWHeights 2-8 (Amparan, Loya), Cimarron 6-18 (Dupree, Burns 3, Ediger 2). Rebounds--SWHeights 22 (Loya 8), Cimarron 25 (K. Bailon 6, Ediger 6). Turnovers--SWHeights 19, Cimarron 7. Fouled out--none. Total fouls--SWHeights 16, Cimarron 18. Technical fouls--none.

Meade 59, Syracuse 29

In the first semifinal game, Meade was the heavy favorite on paper; but when they played the game on the hardwood, things were a lot tighter, at least in the first half.

The Lady Buffaloes, however, took control of the second half and turned a nine-point halftime lead into a 59-29 final score to advance to Saturday's final.

The second-seeded Buffaloes took a 17-5 lead after the first quarter behind Tarah Wiens' 10 points and 11 Syracuse turnovers.

But the Lady Bulldogs fought back in the second, outscoring Meade 13-10 to stay in the game.

Bailey Olvera hit three straight 3-pointers to open the scoring for Meade in the third quarter as they quickly pulled away. In the fourth, the Buffaloes defense held Syracuse to just a field goal in pulling out the 30-point win.

Olvera led all scores with 20 points, while Wiens added 11.

Nine Lady Buffaloes got in the scoring column.

Syracuse's Amy Norton and Delaney Pollart led their team with six points.

Turnovers were Syracuse's nemesis. Averaging 28 a game, they committed 34, leading to 31 Meade points as a result.

The Buffaloes got in early trouble when they went on a scoring drought to open the second quarter, going four minutes before hitting a field goal, and Syracuse had cut the lead to just six, the closest they would get the rest of the game.

The Bulldogs held Wiens to just a free throw after her torrid first quarter, but the depth and experience of the Buffaloes was enough to overcome that.

Wiens made her presence felt in other ways, though, leading Meade with 11 rebounds.

Meade was 16 of 26 from the free throw line, while Syracuse was just 3 of 5.

Meade will take on Cimarron in the title game Saturday, while Syracuse will face Southwestern Heights at 3 p.m.

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Syracuse 5 13 9 2 -- 29

Meade 17 10 17 15 -- 59

Syracuse (5-5)--Rash 1 0-0 2, Norton 1 0-0 3, Stum 1 0-0 2, R. Wilson 2 1-1 5, Pollart 3 0-0 6, Durler 0 1-2 1, Brown 1 0-0 2, Baeza 2 1-2 5. Totals 12-40 3-5 29.

Meade (8-2)--Olvera 6 5-6 20, Lewis 1 1-4 3, Luetters 1 0-0 3, Stapleton 3 0-0 7, Rudzik 1 0-0 2, Thompson 1 1-2 3, Lewis 1 0-2 2, Wiens 5 1-2 11, Howard 0 8-10 8. Totals 19-41 16-26 59.

3-point goals--Syracuse 2-8 (Norton 2), Meade 5-7 (Olvera 3, Luetters, Stapleton). Rebounds--Syracuse 26 (Baeza 9), Meade 26 (Wiens 11). Turnovers--Syracuse 34, Meade 16. Fouled out--Rash. Total fouls--Syracuse 18, Meade 11. Technical fouls--none.

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