Dani Plank and the Lady Blazers ended the season with a hard fought 36-32 loss to Olathe Northwest in the 6A sub state final at Leavenworth March 2. The Blazers concluded with a 16-6 record. Photo courtesy of Plank Photography

Dave Switzer
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner Edgerton Varsity girls’ basketball team gave second ranked Olathe Northwest all they wanted in the Leavenworth substate final held last Friday.
GE forced the type of game they favor—a grind it out affair with tough defenses being dominant.
But Northwest—which features two Division One recruits on a talented roster—held on for a pulsating 36-32 triumph, ending the Blazer season just short of a state tourney bid.
After falling behind early GE trailed 23-13 at half and then 33-23 entering the final frame, GE fought back to make a game of it.  However, the Lady Blazers could not overcome the 10-point deficit as they fell by four.
Shelbe Vandeberghe led a balanced scoring effort with seven points.  Molly Porter and Kari Devlin added six each, Danni Plank had four, with Kiley Reindl Boden, Cassie Wait, and Kyla Martin adding three each.
Two nights earlier, GE put their tough defense on display by dismantling a very good Olathe East squad 39-23.
The Lady Blazers led from the outset-gaining a 9-4 lead after one period and then increasing that to 18-10 at the half.
That advantage ballooned to 29-16 entering the fourth period.  GE never allowed the Hawks to breathe in that final stanza as they rolled to the 39-23 victory.
Wait was the leading scorer with 11 points.  Vandeberghe and Plank had seven each.  Porter added six; Reindl-Boden, five; Devlin, two; and Martin, one; to round out the scoring effort.
The Blazers ended the year with a 16-6 record against very tough competition and found themselves highly ranked in both the Kansas 6A polls and the Metro Kansas City Large class polls throughout the year.  While a strong senior class-Porter, Devlin, Reindl-Boden, and Kelsey Schaefer are departing, there will be a solid nucleus returning.