Lady Cubs reflect on rewarding season

A lull sandwiched around halftime proved too much for Humboldt High's Lady Cubs to overcome Friday. But a 64-53 loss to eventual Class 3A Substate champion Heritage Christian did little to douse the team's enthusiasm after a hard-fought season.

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Sports

March 4, 2024 - 2:37 PM

Humboldt High's Shelby Shaughnessy (15) puts up a field goal attempt over Heritage Christian's Anna Schenk (32) Friday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

WELLSVILLE — You could not have scripted a better start.

Humboldt High’s girls were clicking on offense early, with all five starters scoring baskets they broke out to an early lead Friday over Heritage Christian in their Class 3A Substate Semifinal.

Skylar Hottenstein’s bucket late in the first period had the Lady Cubs ahead 16-10 and smelling a potential upset over top-seeded Heritage Christian of Olathe.

But some early foul trouble stymied the momentum. Heritage Christian ended the first half on a 10-0 run.

Another flurry by the Olathe girls in the third quarter was too much for Humboldt to overcome in a 64-53 defeat.

The loss ended Humboldt’s season at 13-9, but did nothing to douse the appreciation head coach Aubrey Jones had for her shorthanded Lady Cub squad, whom she affectionately refers to as “her goons.”

“For a group that everybody counted out all year long, I couldn’t be more proud,” Jones said. “People didn’t expect much out of them.”

Humboldt High’s Kenisyn Hottenstein drives to the hoop against Heritage Christian Friday.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Humboldt fought to the bitter end, despite Heritage Christian standout Caelyn Ferguson delivering a scoring night for the ages. Ferguson swished her first field goal attempt of the night — a 3-pointer — and didn’t slow down from there.

By the time the buzzer sounded, Ferguson had racked 36 of her team’s 64 points, including a spotless 13-of-13 from the line.

“She went completely unconscious on us, and was the difference in the ball game,” Jones said. “She’s a very good, athletic player.”

Still, Humboldt didn’t go down without a fight.

Even with foul trouble sidelining Shaughnessy and then senior Kenisyn Hottenstein  for much of the first half, the teams traded the lead five times and held two ties through the first 1½ quarters. It was a pair of Kenisyn Hottenstein free throws with 3:16 left in the second quarter that pushed Humboldt ahead, 25-23.

But the Chargers tied the sore on their next possession, and a Lady Cub turnover turned into a Ferguson layup to give Heritage Christian the lead, 27-25.

Humboldt never led again.

The Chargers went into halftime ahead, 33-25.

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