Lady Jays fall to Royal Valley Panthers

After a well-deserved holiday hiatus, the Lady Jays hit the court running in 2019 — traveling to Royal Valley on Friday, Jan. 4, to take on the 3-2 Lady Panthers. The Panthers had losses against Holton and Nemaha Central, with Sabetha holding a 5-1 mark on the season with their only loss coming by way of Jeff West.

The Lady Jays led through the first half, but in a lackluster third quarter saw their lead disappear and they trailed heading into the final period.

“We played three quality quarters of basketball, we just didn’t hit some shots or play as well defensively as we needed in the third quarter,” said Head Coach Alex McAfee.

Sabetha battled back in the final eight minutes, but finished on the losing end in this road contest, 48-43.

Sabetha’s zone defense bottled up Panther guards and limited second chance opportunities through the first half to help them build a modest lead at the intermission.

Melinna Schumann pumped in 7 points on a pair of buckets and a perfect three-for-three from the stripe to lead her team in the first frame. Hillary Krebs had a 2-pointer and a triple, and the Jays led 13-11 at the end of one.

“I loved our energy and effort all night,” Coach McAfee said.

The Lady Jays stretched their lead to 26-20 at the break with five different players inking points in the second period. The Lady Jays shared the ball efficiently and found some points in the paint, with Hannah Wertenberger attacking for 4 points.

The third quarter was disastrous to Sabetha offensively when they managed just one field goal on 12 attempts. Royal Valley flashed the lane and connected on several triples to overtake their guests and led 35-30 headed into the home stretch.

In the fourth, the Panthers stretched their lead to 8 before the Jays clawed their way back into the game.

“We were so proud of our kids’ composure and heart to make the comeback they did late in the fourth to get us back in the game and give us a chance to win it,” Coach McAfee said.

Schumann had 8 points in the period, and a Maggi Hughes’ triple pulled her team within a point, 42-41, with 1:23 to play. But the Jays could not get their shots to fall with the waning clock and dropped the loss, 48-43.

“Although the loss hurts, it will not define our season as we will look to improve in some areas to get better individually and as a team,” Coach McAfee said.

Sabetha continued their road campaign traveling to the 7-0 Nemaha Central Thunder on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Those results were not available at The Herald’s press time.

The Jays will host the 3-5 Perry Lecompton Kaws on Friday, Jan. 11.


Maggie Hughes 3 0-1 1-6 0-0 2 0 0 1 2
Skylar McAfee 3 1-2 0-1 1-3 6 0 0 3 4
Hillary Krebs 11 1-3 3-13 0-0 3 3 2 0 1
Hannah Wertenberger 4 2-7 0-0 0-0 9 1 1 1 3
Melinna Schumann 17 3-6 2-9 5-6 8 2 0 0 1
Jessica Payne 5 2-7 0-0 1-4 10 1 0 2 3
Leah Renyer 0 0-0 0-0 0-2 2 1 1 0 1
Sabetha Totals 9-26 | 6-29 | 7-15 | 40 | 8 | 4 | 7 | 15 | 43
Opponent Totals 12-25 | 4-25 | 12-19 | 24 | 2 | 1 | 1 | 7 | 48


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