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Garden Plain's Cassidy Haukap (3) grabs a defensive rebound over the hands of Mulvane's Ashley Wilson (30) during the first half of the Wildcat Classic championship game, Saturday night. (1/26/2013)

Garden Plain's Cassidy Haukap (3) grabs a defensive rebound over the hands of Mulvane's Ashley Wilson (30) during the first half of the Wildcat Classic championship game, Saturday night. (1/26/2013) Chris Neal/Eagle correspondent |

Garden Plain girls beat Mulvane in championship game

Published Jan. 26 at 9:56 p.m. | Last updated Jan. 26 at 9:57 p.m.

The friendship of Mulvane’s Elise Gerlach and Garden Plain’s Alli Heimerman is founded on respect.

While they aren’t going to movies together, the seniors have a mutual admiration for what the other accomplishes on the basketball court. They still can recall previous summer battles and both agree a clear winner is undetermined.

After the two clashed in Saturday night’s Wildcat Classic championship game in Mulvane, they might have to call it a draw.

Gerlach was the premier player on the floor, scoring a game-high 21 points, but Heimerman and the Owls won the game 40-37. Heimerman led Garden Plain with 10 points and was honored as the tournament’s MVP.

“I personally love playing kids like Alli,” Gerlach said. “Just go back and forth. She’s a great player and it’s always a lot of fun.”

Mulvane (9-4) appeared to have a handle on the Owls (12-1) through the first 25 minutes of the game, holding a 32-27 advantage in the fourth quarter.

But Garden Plain coach Sarah McCormick had a hunch the Wildcats, with a sharpshooter like Gerlach, hadn’t seen much zone defense this season.

“I thought let’s just see if something else is going to work,” McCormick said.

McCormick’s hunched turned into the reason why Garden Plain won, as the Owls forced three turnovers and rattled off a 11-0 run to take a 38-32 lead with 1:46 remaining.

The only answer was when Gerlach pulled up from three feet behind the three-point arc and drilled the shot to breathe life back into the Wildcats.

“All you can do is smile at that,” Heimerman said. “There’s nothing you can do about that. She’s a great player and she kept them going.”

Gerlach finished with four three-pointers, including two from well beyond the line.

“We haven’t seen a shooter that pure in quite some time,” McCormick said.

Mulvane had a breakaway layup that could have cut the deficit to one, but Heimerman used a final burst of energy to catch up and swat the shot out of bounds with 1:15 left. The Wildcats then turned the ball over, ending their final chance to tie the game.

“They were just a little scrappier than us down the stretch,” Mulvane coach Kendra Banzet said. “A little tougher.”

After the game, Heimerman wasn’t worried about who was perceived to win her final showdown against Gerlach.

She was savoring the victory after falling short in the same game last season.

“Sweet revenge,” Heimerman said, “That is what this is.”

Wellington 34, Clearwater 26 — Wellington avenged a five-point loss to Clearwater in December by smothering the Indians to 14 points through three quarters on its way to a third-place finish.

Clearwater (8-4) rallied in the fourth quarter behind a full-court press, outscoring Wellington 13-2, but its 7-of-22 performance from the free-throw line was too much to overcome. Bryna Vogel led the Indians in scoring with 11 points.

Wellington (8-4) had the game’s high-scorer in Savannah Cornejo with 16 points.

“It’s always more fun learning lessons while you’re winning than it is when you’re losing,” Wellington coach Kevin Hackerott said. “This one is big for us because they’re in our sub-state and you don’t want to look too far down the road, but this one ties us up record-wise.”

Campus 68, Wichita Defenders 30 — The Colts (5-9) poured in their second-highest point total of the season to win fifth place over the Defenders, a Wichita home school team.

All 11 Campus players scored; Brianna Bosley (15) and Kyra Ivy (14) combined for 29 points. The Defenders were led by 12 points from freshman Kodi Ammons off the bench.

Winfield 59, Arkansas City 35 — The Vikings (4-9) defeated Ark City for the second time this season to take seventh place behind a balanced scoring attack led by Courtney Griffith’s 12 points.

Freshman Kaitlyn Potter scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, who fell to 0-13.

Garden Plain 40, Mulvane 37

Mulvane8516837
Garden Plain41391440

MULVANE: Gerlach 21, Melick 2, Donaldson 2, Burkhart 6, Wilson 0, Nelson 6. Totals 14 (4) 5-10 37.

GARDEN PLAIN: Heimerman 10, Bourne 4, No. Dooley 6, Haukap 8, Na. Dooley 4, Costello 8, Doyle 0. Totals 14 (2) 10-15 40.

Wellington 34, Clearwater 26

Clearwater4461226
Wellington91012334

CLEARWATER: Winter 5, Akin 2, Babb 4, Vogel 11, Ast 0, Wright 0, Petersen 0, Warren 4, Reibenspies 0, Sizemore 0. Totals 9 (1) 7-22 26.

WELLINGTON: Cornejo 16, Jenkins 6, Amrein 2, McComb 6, Ledesma 0, H. Wright 0, Hefley 2, Whaley 0, Shields 2, Paige 0. Totals 11 (6) 6-11 34.

Campus 68, Defenders 30

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Defenders2118930

CAMPUS: Leeper 11, Keck 4, Bosley 15, Ivy 14, Clark 5, Barnum 4, Yeager 3, Mauldin 2, Downs 4, Brown 4, Zavala 2. Totals 21 (5) 21-29 68.

WICHITA DEFENDERS: C. Jackson 2, Brooks 0, Witham 2, Stephens 9, Sellin 0, Long 0, Hays 2, Ammons 12, B. Potter 0, Jackson 2. Totals 11 (0) 8-17 30.

Winfield 59, Ark City 35

Winfield1120141459
Arkansas City7128835

WINFIELD: Griffiths 12, Thiel 5, Estrada 4, Banks 5, McNutt 5, Bertholf 8, Winghett 4, Pingrey 7, Pollock 6, Fell 0, Bruce 3. Totals 20 (4) 15-28 59.

ARKANSAS CITY: Banta 6, Salas 7, Potter 10, Burroughs 4, Womach 2, I. Sparlin 0, Swisher 4, Morris 0, Pappan 2. Totals 12 (5) 6-12 35.