MITCHELL — Sioux County seniors Meggan Federle and Kelli Woodrum combined for 35 points Thursday, and the Warriors held off a fourth-quarter charge by Leyton to win 49-41 in the championship game of the Class D-2, Sub-district 12 Tournament at Mitchell High School.
Woodrum led all scorers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, and Federle chipped in 16 points.
Federle said the win feels great, especially since this bunch of Warrior seniors has never won a sub-district title.
The win moved Sioux County into next Friday’s D2-6 final against Sandhills/Thedford, which upset Mullen in the D2-11 sub-district final 64-52.
Federle said Sioux County needs to play in the district final just like it did in the sub-district final.
“We played hard, kept working together and didn’t quit,” she said. “We just went to every whistle and every ball.”
A big key to the win was the Warriors’ full-court defense
“Defense is key for us,” Federle said. “We don’t have a lot of height, so we like to move quick and get every ball that we can.”
Despite the loss, Leyton coach Roland Rushman thought his team played hard all night.
“The hustle was there tonight, and the main thing I tell the girls is that if you work as hard as you can on defense, offense, and rebounds, you will come out OK. I told them to make sure you play defense and rebound the ball because some nights the ball won’t go through the net. Tonight was one of those nights. However, I have to hand it to Sioux County. That is a good bunch of girls. They played real hard.”
Sioux County held a slim 8-6 lead after one period. Leyton grabbed a 10-8 lead after a steal and a bucket by Rachel Ernest and a bucket by Tessa Lukesh.
Sioux County followed with an 11-0 run that was highlighted by four straight points from Federle and five points from Woodrum, giving the Warriors a 19-10 lead. Sioux County led 22-16 at halftime.
The third quarter was a back and forth affair. Sioux County, though, held a 31-26 lead after three periods.
Sioux County picked up its defense in the fourth quarter. After Leyton had cut the lead to 31-28 on a bucket by Kathryn Ernest, Sioux County went on a 10-0 run to lead 41-28 behind back-to-back 3-pointers by Woodrum.
Leyton, though, didn’t fold as it outscored Sioux County 13-2 over the next 5 minutes, slicing the lead to 43-41. A big key for Leyton during the run was its defense, which generated steals and easy buckets by Dani McKay and Kaitlyn Berner.
Sioux County settled down as Woodrum and Federle hit back-to-back buckets before Lindsay Dunn hit two free throws to seal the win.
Dunn chipped in eight points for Sioux County.
Leyton was led in scoring by Kathryn Ernest with 12 points, followed by McKay with nine, and Lukesh and Rachel Ernest with eight each.
Leyton.........................................6 10 10 15 — 41
Sioux County.................................8 14 9 18 — 49
Jessica Houk 2, Rachel Ernest 8, Kaitlyn Berner 2, Tessa Lukesh 8, Dani McKay 9, Kathryn Ernest 12.
Hannah Grote 2, Taryn Thayer 2, Lindsay Dunn 8, Kelli Woodrum 19, Meggan Federley 16, Bailey Saults 2.