Lady Cougars win state basketball tournament

Completing their undefeated record, the Lady Cougars basketball team defeat the Topeka High Trojans to win the state championship

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Mike Owens

Junior Ella Mackiewicz shoots a free throw March 13 in the Wichita State Koch Arena. The girls’ basketball team went on to win the championship game against Topeka High 61-54.

Elizabeth Kuffour, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Lady Cougars basketball team defeated the Topeka High School Trojans 61-54 on March 13 in Wichita State University’s Charles Koch Arena, winning the championship round of the Kansas High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) 6A girls’ basketball state tournament.

After finishing their regular season with an undefeated record, the Lady Cougars were the number one seed headed into the tournament March 10. They defeated their first round opponent, the Blue Valley High School Tigers, 36-29, advancing them to the second round as one of the final four teams. This was an important accomplishment for the Lady Cougars, who had made it to state but lost in the first round the previous two years.

The team was off to Wichita after receiving a celebratory send-off from Northwest community members in the front circle drive at 5:45 p.m. Thursday night. At 3 p.m. the following day, they played the Olathe West Owls, the number four seed, in the semifinals. They won the game 59-45, advancing them to the finals.

In the championship round, they faced number two seed Topeka High, who had defeated number three seed Dodge City 54-37 in the semifinals. Unlike the regular season, non-family spectators were allowed to attend with a limit of 1200 spectators per team — as a result, several Northwest students and community members made the trip to Wichita to support the girls’ team in the finals. The girls ultimately secured the championship title for the first time in the school’s history, ending the season with a perfect 23-0 record.

To read game recaps of the semifinal and final rounds, visit the KSHSAA website here.