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Western Kansas athletes overcome long road to be in Shrine Bowl -7/25/2014, 10:20 AM

Aoki's walkoff single lifts Royals in 14th -7/25/2014, 10:03 AM

Larks cap league turnaround with win -7/24/2014, 10:23 AM

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Ellis to play for Zone title -7/24/2014, 1:26 PM

2014 Kansas Shrine Bowl rosters -7/24/2014, 1:29 PM

Jayhawk League standings, July 24 -7/24/2014, 10:34 AM

Jamaal Charles agrees to contract extension -7/24/2014, 10:38 AM

Ubelaker looks to make impact on Shrine Bowl -7/24/2014, 10:51 AM

Snyder hopes season carries over -7/24/2014, 10:33 AM

Herman, Hecker, Kaup advance at Kansas Am -7/24/2014, 10:13 AM

Larks get non-league win -7/23/2014, 1:29 PM

Golfer cards ace in Ellis -7/23/2014, 9:57 AM

Fisher hopes bigger is better -7/23/2014, 9:47 AM

Royals grab win in Chicago -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Overachievers set tone for KSU football -7/23/2014, 10:42 AM

Chiefs have had discussions with Charles -7/23/2014, 10:44 AM

Hays Eagles headed back to state -7/23/2014, 10:43 AM

Tuesday's Larks game called off -7/22/2014, 4:49 PM

K-18 state bracket, July 25 to 29 -7/22/2014, 10:46 AM

Royals' offense silenced again in loss to Chicago -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

Monarchs' season comes to an end -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Larks win sixth straight -7/22/2014, 10:24 AM

No bold predictions from Charlie Weis at Big 12 Media Days -7/22/2014, 10:19 AM

Eagles rally for Zone win -7/22/2014, 10:25 AM

'One true champion' gets a workout in Big 12 -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

K-State clarifies Klein's role -7/22/2014, 10:26 AM

Browns rookie Manziel leads in jerseys sold -7/22/2014, 10:09 AM

Royals get swept in Boston -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

McIlroy claims Open title -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Monarchs fall to Larned in Zone tourney -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Larks wrap up second place -7/21/2014, 10:10 AM

Royals fall to Red Sox -7/20/2014, 9:44 AM

Plainville's Krob tops 11-under field -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Goodland's Ihrig wins Match Play crown -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Monarchs, Russell in Larned Zone -7/20/2014, 6:54 PM

Alex Smith hopes future is with Kansas City Chiefs -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

Butler wants to stay in K.C. -7/20/2014, 6:44 PM

Larks beat Twins, alone in second place -7/18/2014, 9:31 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

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myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
Knights girls back at state

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Knights girls back at state

Published on -3/12/2014, 10:32 AM

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By NICK McQUEEN

nmcqueen@dailynews.net

Two seaons ago when the Victoria High School girls' basketball team qualified for the Class 1A Division II state tournament in Hays, team leaders Kristin Huser and Audra Nowak were sophomores.

It was Victoria's first state appearance in 20 years, and there were a lot of nerves and some pretty high hopes.

Heading to the Class 1A Division I state tournament this week in Emporia, Victoria has the same hopes of playing Saturday, but the nerves aren't there.

"We're feeling very good," said Huser, now a senior leader for the Knights. "We've been playing very good the last couple games. We've got some confidence now that me made it.

"We've been there once, so we know what it's like."

The Knights (14-9) are the No. 7 seed and will face No. 2 Blue-Rapids-Valley Heights (22-1) in Thursday's 3 p.m. first-round game at White Auditorium.

"They're excited," said third-year Victoria coach Anne Dinkel. "It feels different this time. The girls have said that. They just have a different feel about it.

"Being there once makes a difference."

The state appearance comes after a tumultuous season that started chock full of high expectations. The Knights were only a few points away from being 7-0 at one point, but ran into tough competition midseason around the Hoisington Winter Jam.

Plus Huser, the team's scoring leader the past three seasons and a Fort Hays State University signee, suffered a concussion after attempting to take a charge.

At that point, though, "we had some other girls really realize 'Hey, I can do this,' and they stepped up,"  Dinkel said. "We maybe didn't get wins on the scoreboard, but we had wins out on the court."

The Knights suffered three losses without Huser, inlcuding the game she was injured, but picked up a win against Macksville. In her first game back, the Knights lost for the second time to Class 3A Hoisington. The Knights' nine losses have come to defending 2A state champion Smith Center (by three), Class 3A TMP-Marian (by one), 2A state qualifier Claflin-Central Plains, St. John, Class 2A qualifier Ellis, and La Crosse.

"It was definitly up and down. We ran into some difficult teams there for a while with Central Plains, St. John, Hoisington," said Huser, who leads the Knights with 15.4 points and 3.5 steals per game. "The Hoisington tournament, there are always good teams there."

Nowak, one of five Knights to play in every game this season, scores 13.7 points and grabs 5.8 rebounds per night.

"We've learned to come together as a team, and realized we can all play our part and do what we need to do to win."

Since falling to perennial power St. John on Feb. 14, the Knights have not lost, including winning their sub-state title game last week against Macksville by 20 points.

"We kind of hit a slump for awhile, but we got over that when we needed to and started playing more and more as a team," Huser said.

The Knights start four seniors --  Huser, Nowak, Rylee Broyles (2.4 points) and Brooke Schmidt (4.6 points), plus junior Brooke Pfanenstiel (3.6). Top two off the bench are freshman Sara Schippers (5.9 points) and sophomore Kiley Schmidtberger (2.3 rebounds).

Victoria goes up against a one-loss Valley Heights team ranked No. 2 in the state, led by 5-foot-11 sophomore Jo Roepke, a player Huser and Nowak have played with in the summer.

"They've kind of given us some good insight on her," Dinkel said. "She's probably similar to two years ago when we faced Jamie Patrick."

Patrick, a potential All-American now at Hutchinson Community College, led Hutchinson-Central Christian past the Knights in the first round in Hays two seasons ago.

"She'll be good. We're definitely going to have to bring our 'A' game," Huser said.

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