Special to The Gardner News
The McPherson High Girls Invitational Tourney featured one of the strongest fields of any in the state. Against that talented group, the Gardner Edgerton Lady Blazers accorded themselves well, earning the third place trophy and upping their season record to 10-2.
GE started the tourney off against Beloit. The Blazers got off to slow start, only leading the game by one after one period at 10-9 and being tied at the break at 18. GE came storming out the gate to start the second half, using a 13-2 run to take control of the contest. The Lady Blazers would then use their trademark suffocating defense to keep their foe at bay in the fourth period as they waltzed to a 37-27 victory.
Kari Devlin led the team in scoring with 10 points. Molly Porter had nine points — all on three pointers, Shelbe Vandeberghe added eight; Kyla Martin had four, Cassie Wait had four, and Kyra Burcham rounded out the scoring effort with two.
That win put GE into a semi-final matchup with home-standing, undefeated McPherson-a squad that Blazer coach Scott Schaefer had led before coming to Gardner.
The Blazers battled hard in this one but a cold middle two periods- GE would only score eight points in the second and third stanzas combined-would lead to a 41-32 loss.
Wait had nine points to lead the team in scoring; Dani Plank and Porter each had seven, Devlin had four Vandeberghe had three, and Kiley Reindl-Boden added two to the final 32-point total.
The Blazers would find their offensive mojo a night later in the third-place game as they blasted Andale 61-46. GE led this one from the outset, going up 28-15 at the intermission and scoring 33-points in a fast-paced second half to get the victory that would earn them the third place trophy in perhaps the toughest tournament in the state.
Plank had 15 points to lead the club on the offensive end. Vandeberghe was right behind her with 14 tallies. Porter had eight, Devlin had 7, Reindl-Boden and Wait had five each, Dellinger had four, and Kelsey Schaefer had three in the big triumph.
GE will next be in action on Feb. 3 when they travel to Blue Valley Southwest. The Lady Blazers are one game behind Blue Valley North in the league standings as the teams enter the home stretch of the season.
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