Cimarron cruises by Elkhart in HPL tourney semis, to face Meade in final




The Cimarron Lady Bluejays have been on a mission all season long, and woe to anyone who gets in their way.

Their 11th straight victim, the Lady Wildcats of Elkhart, fell 63-41 in the semifinal round of the Hi-Plains League tournament.

Playing Thursday at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex, Cimarron, the top-ranked team in 3A, used a deep bench, a stingy defense and an arsenal of shots to take care of the Elkhart squad and earn a berth in the finals Saturday against Meade.

The always stingy Bluejay defense forced eight Elkhart turnovers in the Wildcats' first nine possessions while building a 12-2 lead in that span.

Ashtynn Burns and Morgan Ediger combined for 14 of Cimarron's first-quarter points as the Jays grabbed a 22-9 lead at that break.

After falling behind 28-9, the Wildcats fought back in the second period, taking advantage of one of a few Cimarron lapses on defense. Elkhart hit three 3-pointers on a 13-3 run that cut the lead to 10.

Ediger and Dupree hit a three each to end the half, though, taking a 37-22 lead.

Elkhart started the second half with a little four-point run to cut into the Lady Jay lead, but 11 was the closest it would come the rest of the game, as Cimarron coasted to the win.

Dupree and Ediger both hit for 20 points in the win, as Cimarron shot 48 percent from the floor (24-for-50).

The defense held Elkhart to just 32 percent shooting (14-for-43) and caused 26 turnovers.

For Cimarron coach David Ediger, it was a pretty good effort for his 11-0 team, but it came with a caveat.

"The biggest lapse moment we had came in the second quarter when we forgot to guard them and they made three 3s on us. That's really the only thing consistently we did wrong for a stretch of time," he said.

Ediger liked his team's intensity through most of the game.

"We really moved the ball well. They ran the box-and-one (defense) again on us for quite a while and we stayed pretty patient. I thought we played pretty well overall," he said.

Even his team's 17 turnovers (including 12 in the first half) didn't phase him.

"We play fast and we have a few more than most teams," he said. "We probably average 15, and a lot of those are trying to get the ball down the court. Sometimes we throw it out of bounds trying to go too fast, and that's okay. We'll live with those. We cause other teams to have a lot more than we have."

Many of those were precipitated by Cimarron's full-court press, Ediger said, an element that has been successful for them all season.

Cimarron also held Elkhart (5-4) to 13 points below its season average.

The Wildcats were led by Kali Hoskinson with 11 points and Victoria Fullerton with 10.

Saturday's matchup against Meade, a 44-32 winner earlier, is a rematch of a game played in December that Cimarron won 67-51.

In that game, the Bluejays held a 23-2 lead after the first quarter, but it was close the rest of the way.

It's a game Ediger said they will be anticipating, given Meade's style of play that matches his team.

"They like to play up and down, and they have some big girls that are also good inside, so that will be a challenge for us," he said. "We'll see if we can come out and play the way we normally play and see what happens."


Cimarron 22 15 14 12 -- 63

Elkhart 9 13 8 11 -- 41

Cimarron (11-0) — Dupree 1 0-2 3, Burns 5 9-10 20, Blattner 1 3-4 6, Hoskinson 2 0-0 4, Waters 2 0-0 4, Ediger 9 1-1 20, E.Koopman 4 0-0 8. Totals 24 3-17 63.

Elkhart (5-4) — Kali Hoskinson 4 2-2 11, Fullerton 2 5-6 10, Richardson 2 0-0 5, Brewer 3 1-4 8, White 1 0-0 2, Thomason 2 0-0 5. Totals 14 8-12.

3-pt. goals — Cimarron 4-8 (Dupree 1, Burns 1, Blattner 1, Eidger 1), Elkhart 4-14 (Hoskinson 1, Fullerton 1, Richardson 1, Thomason 1). Rebounds — Cimarron 30 (Koopman 6, Hoskinson 5), Elkhart 30 (Brewer 9, Hoskinson 6). Turnovers — Cimarron 17, Elkhart 26. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — 17, Elkhart 17.

Meade 44, Southwestern Heights 32

In the first semifinal game, Meade overcame a lackluster first three quarters with an inspired fourth period in defeating Southwestern Heights, 44-32.

Going into the final quarter, Heights held a 32-31 lead, but Meade's deeper bench wore down the Lady Mustangs by shutting them out 13-0.

Meade tied the game on a Tarah Wiens free throw 16 seconds into the period, but neither team scored over the next four minutes. But when they did, the Lady Buffaloes scored often while Heights had a hard time getting off a shot.

In that final quarter, Heights turned the ball over seven times and had four shots blocked while shooting just twice, converting on neither.


Meade 12 7 12 13 -- 44

SW Heights 9 12 11 0 -- 32

Meade (7-3) — Olvera 1 2-2 4, Luetters 1 1-1 3, Miller 0 2-3 2, Wiens 3 5-9 11, Friesen 8 2-2 18, Moshier 3 0-0 6. Totals 16 12-17 44.

SW Heights (8-4) — Amparan 3 0-0 6, Longoria 1 0-0 2, LaPoint 5 2-5 12, DeLaTorre 1 0-0 2, Couch 2 0-2 6, Loya 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 2-7 32.

3-pt. goals — Meade 0, SWHeights 2 (Couch 2). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Meade 10, SW Heights 13.

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