West Central edges Parkston 44-43 in Region 5A gamesWAGNER — Parkston had one last chance to take the lead after West Central’s Madison Kuehl traveled on an inbound pass with 8 seconds left in the game.
By: Brooke Cersosimo, The Daily Republic
WAGNER — Parkston had one last chance to take the lead after West Central’s Madison Kuehl traveled on an inbound pass with 8 seconds left in the game.
After a Parkston timeout, senior Krista Radke pulled up for a jumper that was blocked by West Central, securing its 44-43 victory over Parkston in the Region 5A girls’ basketball championship game in front of a Parkston-heavy crowd.
West Central booked its ticket to the Class A state tournament, which is March 7-9 in Watertown, and knocked off Parkston, which was runner-up in last year’s state tournament.
“We had a set play but just didn’t get the ball to where we needed to,” Parkston head coach Rob Van Laecken said.
Parkston went on a 7-0 run — triggered by a 3-pointer by senior McKenzie Weidenbach — to go up 43-40 with 58 seconds to play in the contest. West Central senior Hunter Mathieu broke the run with a layup, getting her team within one.
Parkston committed a costly turnover with about 30 seconds left in the fourth. Kuehl capitalized on the turnover by driving to the basket and picking up the foul. Kuehl, who scored a game-high 11 points, made a pair of free throws to put West Central in front by one with 18 seconds left on the clock.
Turnovers were traded between the teams and West Central’s defense stood strong to hold off Parkston in its final possession.
“Our intensity on defense and just being composed down the stretch won this game,” West Central head coach Joe Caffrey said. “They are a great team but when they made a big play, we were able to respond with a big play back.”
Parkston committed 20 turnovers in the game, while West Central tallied 13.
“The big thing of the game was our turnovers,” Van Laecken said. “That was huge. … We played hard but just ended up on the short end of it.”
West Central, which was 15-of-48 for 31 percent from the floor and 13-of-20 from the line, was the aggressor under the basket, outrebounding Parkston 33-26.
“They got after loose balls and wanted it all along,” Parkston senior Alexis Horstman said. “We wanted it too, but we just couldn’t get it all to come together. When we made mistakes they corrected on them.”
Parkston was led by senior Erica Herrold, senior Logan Wagner and Weidenbach with 10 points apiece. Weidenbach grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for Parkston, which was 11-of-40 for 27 percent from the field and 19-of-26 for 73 percent from the free-throw line.
Parkston ends its season 16-7 on the year.
P 5 19 31 43
WC 11 21 29 44