Wamego girls blitz Abilene

By Nicolas Wahl

WAMEGO — Class 4A’s top-ranked Wamego girls’ basketball team wrapped up it’s regular season home slate by clinching at least a share of its third straight North Central Kansas League title with a dominating 64-24 win over Abilene Thursday night.

The Red Raiders’ lone active senior, Kaylee Page, paced all scorers with 21 points,  leading Wamego (18-0, 8-0) to its 26th straight win dating back to a 51-50 loss at Hillsboro last January.

Juniors Lanie Page and Allison Seufert joined the elder Page in double figures with 19 and 11 points, respectively. Seufert had a game-high six steals while Lanie added four.

It was also Wamego’s 28th straight league win, and the defending state champs haven’t lost at home since January of 2012 — a streak of 21 straight games. The Red Raiders’ average margin of victory this season is more than 26 points per ballgame.

“People have a hard time believing this sometimes, but we truly just focus on getting better every single day,” Wamego head coach Jim Page said of the motivation for his team against often overmatched opponents.

“I asked them before tonight’s game, ‘How many of you guys have ever played a perfect basketball game?’ Nobody raised her hand and I said, “So, that has to be your goal. You saw the effort tonight, and I think they really try to do that.”

At least defensively, Wamego was about as close to perfection as a team can get. The Red Raiders grabbed 20 steals, blocked seven Cowgirls shots and allowed just two points in the second half.

The Cowgirls (8-9, 3-5) managed to hang around for a bit early, trailing by just two points after the end of the first quarter.

Then Wamego began the second quarter with a 17-4 run.

Seufert, heading the Wamego press, got it started with a steal and layup on Abilene’s first possession of the second quarter. Six minutes later, Kaylee swiped one and led a nifty 3-on-1 break before dishing off to Maddie Vontz for another lay-in and the Red Raiders’ lead bulged to 33-16 with 1:30 remaining in the first half.

“(Seufert) really does (bring infectious energy) — she’s an amazing kid,” Jim said. “She does have fun. Last year she really built pride in her defense and this year she’s added the offense.”

Kaylee Page scored seven of Wamego’s 17 points during the run and then finished off the half with a deep 3-pointer at the buzzer from the right wing to make it 36-22 at halftime.

Wamego ran off another 15 straight points to start the second half before Mallory Olberding hit Abilene’s lone bucket of the second half with 3:20 to play in the third quarter.

Wamego led 56-24 through three quarters and then shut out the Cowgirls in the final period.

The Red Raiders travel to Concordia tonight.

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