Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Edgerton Lady Trailblazers have played perhaps the toughest schedule of any team in the state.
Consequently, the 5-5 record they took into the El Dorado Invitational Tournament really didn’t show how good this team is.
The field at El Dorado found out.
Using their patented pressure defense and balanced offensive attack, the Lady ‘Blazers defeated three opponents to win this prestigious invitational.
GE got off to a great start in the tournament by defeating Augusta 57-44 on Jan. 25. Led by the three-point shooting of Kiley Reindl-Boden, the ‘Blazers went up 19-12 after one period.
August didn’t go away, keeping the lead at seven at the half at 31-24. GE would then put the game away with a 16-9 third period run.
Reindl-Boden finished with five threes on the way to 17 points to lead the team. Fellow junior Ashlee Bilhimer had 15.
Three nights later, the ‘Blazers were back on the court against Towanda Circle – an excellent 4A team. GE prevailed in a real defensive struggle, 36-30. Bilhimer led he team in scoring with 10 points. Cassie Wait returned to the lineup for the first time this season and had 9 tallies. Tonisha Walker had five, Shelbe Vandeberghe contributed four. Izzy Mullins had three, Reindl-Boden and Brittney Parks had two each, and Kari Devlin had one in the victory.
That triumph put the ‘Blazers into the championship game against Wichita East. GE turned up the defensive heat once again in a 55-29 victory.
The Blazers led 15-7 after one period, expanding that lead to 28-13 at the break. East never really threatened in the second half as GE won this one going away.
Dani Plank led the team in scoring with 16 points. Bilhimer had eight, Jalisa Brice and Walker had six each, Wait had five, Reindl-Boden had four, Molly Porter and Mullins had three each, and Parks and Vandebeghe had two each in the championship win.
Now 8-5 on the year, GE is back on the hardwoods on February 4 when they face Blue Valley Souhwest at home in the Winter Royalty contest. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.