Lady Indians’ reign ended in first-ever state championship

St. Paul’s Lady Indians prepare for the KSHSAA Class 1A-I Girls State Championship game versus Hanover Saturday, March 10. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE MCCRACKEN

By Camden McFarland

After flying through the first two rounds of the state tournament, St. Paul’s Lady Indians came face to face with Hanover in their first KSHSAA Class 1A-I Girls State Championship in school history Saturday, March 10.

Heading into this game, both teams flaunted impressive achievements gained throughout the season.

Hanover, as the defending state champions, entered the game with a record of 20-3. In contrast, St. Paul, with a record of 23-2, was preparing for their first championship game after making it to state four times in the last five years.

From the start, this game was destined to be a close battle as Hanover and St. Paul found themselves tied at eight points after the first quarter.

The Lady Indians’ aggressive behavior pushed them ahead of Hanover in the second quarter, giving them a 17-15 lead heading into halftime.

Following halftime, St. Paul began to struggle with turnovers, as Hanover’s defense scrambled to interfere with the Lady Indians’ offensive movement.

Hanover’s intensity also gave way to a 37-19 lead at the end of the third quarter.

St. Paul’s fight wasn’t over in the fourth, but Hanover was not prepared to ease up.

With a final score of 48-28, the Lady Indians were honored as the KSHSAA Class 1A-I State Runners-Up.

The Lady Indians’ Katelin O’Brien led the team’s offense throughout the night by earning 14 solo points.

Despite the loss, St. Paul finished the season with numerous achievements, including being the number two Class 1A-I team in the state of Kansas. Their final record in this phenomenal season is 23-3.