MV girls fall in substate title game

A tough second quarter put Marmaton Valley High's girls in a hole too deep to escape Saturday. The Wildcats fell 48-36 to Olpe in their Class 1A-I Substate Championship matchup.

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Sports

March 4, 2024 - 2:42 PM

Marmaton Valley High’s Payton Scharff (2) puts up a field goal attempt between Olpe defenders Grace Coughlin (12) and Lilly Skalsky (5) Saturday. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

ROSALIA — Marmaton Valley High’s girls saw their season come to an end Saturday, courtesy of a stifling Olpe Eagle zone defense.

“We didn’t have an answer,” Wildcat head coach Becky Carlson said. “By the time we figured it out, we were in too deep a hole.”

Olpe’s zone led to a 16-1 Eagle run, pushing the Wildcats behind by double digits the rest of the way in a 48-36 setback.

The loss, coming in Saturday’s Class 1A-I Substate Championship, ends Marmaton Valley’s season at 15-7. Olpe advances to this week’s state tournament in Colby.

“It’s disappointing,” Carlson said. “We sure didn’t want it to end like this. But I’m proud of how the girls didn’t give up and fought back.”

The game had all the markings of a March Madness classic in the early going. 

Marmaton Valley High’s Janae Granere (24) goes up for a layup against Flinthills Friday. Photo by Halie Luken / MVHS

Wildcat senior Janae Granere scored eight of her team’s first 10 points including a pair of free throws to push the Wildcats ahead, 10-9, late in the period before the Eagles drained a 3-pointer in the waning seconds to go ahead by two.

Then came Olpe’s zone.

The Wildcats were unable to get the ball inside to Granere with much effectiveness as Olpe opened the period with six straight points before Marmaton Valley’s Payton Scharff hit a free throw at the 5:11 mark.

Marmaton Valley High’s Brooklyn Adams, left, shoots a field goal attempt against Flinthills Friday.Photo by Halie Luken / MVHS

But that was MV’s only point of the quarter as the Eagles scored 10 unanswered to finish the half with a 28-11 lead.

“They showed a lot of pride at the end,” Carlson said. “It would have been easy to give up, but we didn’t.”

Piper Barney scored early in the third quarter — Marmaton Valley’s first bucket from the field since Maria Forero scored with 1:40 left in the first period — got things started. Forero was next before Scharff and Barney scored to end the quarter.

Granere got back into the act to start the fourth quarter. Her steal and layup preceded a Granere 3-pointer, and suddenly Marmaton Valley was back to within 37-26 with 7:09 left. Senior Brooklyn Adams drained a pair of jumpers down the stretch as well.

But Olpe’s Kadey Robert was there with the answer. She scored seven points down the stretch to finish with a game-high 19.

“She really came through when they needed her,” Carlson said.

Granere led Marmaton Valley with 13, followed by Barney with eight and Scharff with seven.

WITH THE LOSS, the Wildcats bid adieu to seniors Scharff, Granere and Adams.

“Brooklyn has a nice shot, and she was relaxed,” Carlson said. “Payton’s just a smart kid and added a lot to the team.”

Granere, who overcame a late-season ankle injury to reassume her role as a team leader on the court, has remained instrumental in Marmaton Valley’s success since she was a freshman, Carlson noted.

“She’s been our team leader for so long,” she said. “She’s meant a lot to our program.”

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