South girls win Highland Park tournament
TOPEKA — Because of foul trouble, South 6-foot-3 sophomore Kendrian Elliott spent a lot of time on the bench in Friday’s Lady Scot Shootout semifinal, finishing with two points.
Elliott did a better job of staying on the floor in Saturday’s championship game against Great Bend, delivering a game-high 21 points as the Titans claimed the title with a 67-48 victory.
“It (Friday’s foul trouble) did fire me up because I knew we were playing a better team today, so I knew I had to be in so I could help my team and we could get the win,’’ said Elliott, who was named the tournament’s MVP.
“I feel like we had a good tournament and I feel like we all worked together and we can go back to our City League and do really good coming off of this.’’
Facing a Great Bend team that does not have a player on its roster taller than 5-10, South coach Antwain Scales said it was important for Elliott and the other Titan frontliners to play well.
“We knew we had a size advantage but that Great Bend team is a well-coached team and we knew it was going to be tough to win this game, but we persevered,’’ Scales said. “Kendrian got into some foul trouble (three in the game), but was able to get back in the sync of things later on in the game and that was extremely important for our team.’’
Great Bend (10-2) was locked in a 17-all tie with the Titans (12-1) at the end of the first quarter, but South took control with a 22-8 second quarter. The Panthers made a couple of runs to get back within 10 before South pulled away down the stretch.
Kirea Rogers also had a big game for the Titans, finishing with 19 points.
“Overall, I’m extremely proud of our girls,’’ Scales said. “We’ve been working extremely hard in practice and in this kind of tournament that work ethic paid off at the right time for us.’’
Junior Regan Unruh led Great Bend with 14 points.
Elliott was one of three all-tournament selections for South, with senior Eledria Franklin and sophomore Ericka Mattingly also earning all-tourney honors.
Great Bend: Welsch 4, Hildebrand 3, Spray 6, R. Unruh 14, K. Doll 6, Mauler 4, Stueder 2, Harwood 7, M. Unruh 2.
South: Elliott 21, Franklin 4, Mattingly 4, Callins 4, Rogers 19, Dodson 6, Northcutt 9.