Hugoton drops heartbreaker at state

By Joel Muhs
KSHSAA Tournament Correspondent
Hugoton's Mikyn Hamlin (25) drives to the basket over Sabetha's Melinna Schumann (25) during their KSHSAA Class 3A State semi-final game at the Sports Arena Thursday. Sabetha defeated Hugoton 57-55.

The Hugoton girls saw their season come to an end Thursday night with a 57-55 heartbreaking loss to Sabetha in a semifinal game of the Class 3A girls state tournament at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson.

The Sabetha Lady Jays got off to a strong start against the Hugoton Eagles, with a 10-2 run to open the game. Sabetha’s Melinna Schumann headed that run by scoring six of the 10 points. Hugoton’s Mikyn Hamlin cut the lead to 10-8 after her first 3-ball of the game. Sabetha and Hugoton each traded one more bucket, as the Lady Jays took a 12-10 lead into the second quarter.

Hugoton took advantage of a slow start by Sabetha to start the second quarter with the help of Hamlin. Within a 20 second period, Hamlin knocked down a 3-pointer and tracked down a loose ball for a transition layup, which gave the Eagles its first lead at 15-14 with 5:16 left in the second. After the Eagles stretched the lead to 17-14, the Lady Jays bounced back with a layup and then back-to-back triples from Schumann and Leah Renyer, which resulted in a 22-19 Sabetha lead with 1:36 left in the half. Sabetha continued that momentum for a 27-22 halftime lead.

Hugoton’s McKenna Hamlin dropped in a triple to open the Eagles scoring in the second half to cut the lead to 25-28. However, Sabetha pounced on Hugoton after the Eagles struggled to four points in the first four minutes of the third quarter, which opened up the Lady Jays first double-digit lead at 38-26 from a 3-ball by Schumann. Sabetha maintained that double-digit lead by taking a 43-32 advantage into the fourth.

The Eagles didn’t go quietly, as they put on a major rally in the fourth quarter. After a controversial tie-up call that went Sabetha’s way, Hugoton put on a full-court press and stole the ball back for a layup to cut it to single digits, 36-45. After two 3-balls from Mikyn Hamlin that cut it to a one-score game, Sabetha’s Mary Lukert converted an and-one layup to push the lead back to 48-42. After tying it at 48-48, Hugoton’s Jordyn Beard put in a transition layup for a 50-48 lead, which eventually swelled to a 54-50 Eagles lead with 2:21 left in the game. Renyer played hero for the Lady Jays, as she drained a game-tying three with less than 10 seconds left at 55-55 after Hugoton’s Summya Adigan missed the front end of a 1-and-1. After an Eagle’s turnover, Renyer made the game-winning buzzer-beating layup from an assist from Schumann to win it 57-55.

After letting go of multiple double-digit leads, Sabetha leaned on Renyer and Schumann to get the job done. Renyer led the Lady Jays with 21 points, while Schumann chipped in 20 of her own. Hugoton's Mikyn Hamlin led all scorers with 22 points off of 8-19 shooting.

Sabetha will play Cheney in the championship game at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Hugoton finishes the season with a 23-2 overall record.