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December 30, 2013

Shawnee shoots past Cheyenne in semifinals

Ada —    Class 5A No. 1 Shawnee made sure there wouldn’t be any David vs. Goliath stories circulating around the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic Friday night during a semifinal matchup with Class A No. 1 Cheyenne.

   The Lady Wolves hit a sizzling seven first-half 3-pointers to build an early lead and coasted past the Lady Bears 51-35.

   Cheyenne, which saw a season-opening 12-game win streak come to an end, held an early 6-4 lead before Bailey Taylor started a 16-4 run over the final four minutes of the opening frame with a 20-foot 3-pointer. She would hit two more from just as far out during the pivotal Shawnee run, and Shaiann Tramble’s layup at the first-quarter buzzer put the Wolves on top 20-10.

   Shawnee star McKenzie Cooper then took over in the second period. The talented senior went 5-of-5 from the floor — including three 3-pointers of her own — and scored 15 of her team’s 18 second-quarter points to help stretch the Shawnee lead to 38-18 by halftime.

   After the first-half dust had settled, Shawnee (4-0) had sank 7-of-9 3-point shots.

   “Our two shooters stepped up. They were able to knock down seven big ones,” said Shawnee head coach Wendie Wells. “McKenzie can really shoot the ball. It’s one of those things where she’s actually a guard, but we’ve had to play her inside because she’s the biggest kid we’ve got.”

   Cooper would finish with a game-high 18 points, while Taylor was right behind with 17.

   After that furious first half, Shawnee would score just 13 points in the final two quarters combined but had a big enough lead to keep Cheyenne at bay.

   “In the second half we came out flat again, and that’s something we’ve really talked to this group about,” Wells said. “They’ve got to learn you’ve got to play hard all four quarters.”

   Cheyenne (12-1) would score the first eight points of the fourth quarter to cut a 21-point deficit to 47-34 after a drive by Taylor Swisher, but that’s as close as the Lady Bears could get.

   Kate Sander, Cheyenne’s talented post player, scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead her club. McKenzie Torrance hit all three of her field goals off the bench and scored seven.

   Shawnee played Mount St. Mary in Saturday night’s championship game, while the Lady Bears tangled with Ada for third place.

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