WAMEGO — The Wamego girls’ basketball team faced a difficult proposition against Sabetha in its 54-39 victory - one it might face again as the season continues through February and into March.
Lanie Page faced foul trouble and was forced to the bench, while her sister, Kaylee Page, had one point through three quarters.
Fortunately for the Red Raiders, junior guard Allison Seufert was ready to pick up the scoring slack. Seufert scored 18 points for the Red Raiders, including 12 by halftime, which equaled Sabetha’s entire scoring out put to that point.
The Page sisters finally found their groove in the second half, though. Lanie and Kaylee finished with 16 and nine points, respectively.
Sabetha employed a common junk defense against Wamego, using a triangle and two against to slow down Wamego’s offense and make things tough on the Page sisters. Early on, it caused the Red Raiders headaches. Wamego used two timeouts within a two-minute span in the first quarter to try and solve its offensive woes.
Even when they did have open looks, the Red Raiders could not score.
“I think we missed about eight layups in the first quarter,” Wamego head coach Jim Page said. “Just couldn’t put the ball in the hole. And that’s the thing that has hurt us in the past. We get good shots. We run our stuff and we just can’t finish in the end.”
Wamego shuffled line-ups throughout the entire game. At one point, the Red Raiders had Jennifer Griffitt, Tessa Seeberger, Caitlyn Claussen, and the Page sisters. Jim Page’s experiments were an attempt to build the back end of his roster.
“We really have to find some depth,” Page said. “We had our starting five back on the floor at the end of the game there and we just have to get some depth. In order for us to get very far, we have to have eight kids that really play.”
Sabetha hoped to counterpunch Wamego’s height and athleticism with the 3-pointer. While Sabetha was able to cash in on a few of its outside attempts, the length and pressure of Wamego’s defense wore on the legs of the Bluejays. Sabetha guard Alexis McAfee was 2 of 17 on the night and ended with five points.
“We look at their best scorers and try to push them out of their comfort zone,” Page said. Taryn Schuette finished with 10 points and was the only Sabetha player to score in double figures.
At times, the hardwood seemed to resemble a boxing ring, with players and coaches alike looking to the officials for foul calls. There was even a confrontation at the end of the half between the two head coaches.
Page chalked up the mistakes to a lack of effort and fatigue. Wamego returned home after playing three games in a week to win the Hillsboro tournament, where they won but faced tough competition against previously undefeated teams Hesston and Riley County.
“I think we still have a little bit of a lag from that,” Page said.