BY CORA TASSETT
Fort Hays Women’s Basketball was back in Hays on February 20 against Rogers State. The team is currently 8th in the NCAA Division II Central Region rankings and 6th in the MIAA Conference. The Tigers will be looking to improve these rankings in their next three games before the MIAA Championship after securing a win tonight against the Hillcats 100-59.
“Offensively we played a good ball game, especially early we were very efficient,” Head Coach Tony Hobson said. “After we scored 30 the first quarter we really settled in and got to play our game well.”
Fort Hays State’s defense was equally efficient in the first period, only allowing five points to the Hillcats as FHSU outscored RSU 30-5. FHSU continued to stay on top through the second quarter and into halftime, 53-24.
“You know it’s always good to hit those shots, and it just felt good to have a game like this at home,” Kacey Kennett said. “At this point, it’s kind of Do or Die, we really just have to play our best basketball and leave it all out on the court.”
Kacey Kennett led the Tigers with 13 points, one assist, one steal, and three rebounds in the first half. Belle Barbieri put up 12 points, two blocks, two assists, and nine rebounds after the first half and ended the game with a double-double, with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“Kacey was on point, even though she didn’t play a lot of minutes tonight she has been shooting the ball a lot better lately,” Hobson said. They were a hard team to guard, they are good off the dribble and they like to go to the basket, but we got it around it pretty well.”
Kennett finished the game with 16 points, six rebounds, two steals, one block, and one assist. She currently leads the team with 301 points and 52 steals on the season. She is also second in rebounds with 136.
FHSU continued to lead the game through the third quarter 77-36 before getting to triple digits with a free throw in the final minute.
“To score 100 when we don’t play any starters in the fourth quarter, I know my bench is pretty good too,” Hobson said. “I wasn’t going to put the starters back in when we were up by 40 and we have a game Saturday; the girls on the bench are very capable and that playing time will do them good.”
Jaden Hobbs finishes the game with 14 points, adding 4-4 free throws, 2-2 three-pointers, and an 80% field goal percentage. She also added one rebound, three assists, two blocks, and one steal. Lauryn Reither ended the game with nine points, one assist, one rebound, 1-1 free throws, 2-2 three-pointers, and had a 75% field goal percentage.
“Tonight we came out and we were ready to go,” Kennett said. “I think from the first quarter you could tell that we were in it, our offense and defense was good and that’s what we need from here on out”
Fort Hays finishes out the night with a big win. They have moved to 19-6 overall and 10-6 in conference play. The Tigers will be back in Hays on Saturday, February 22 against another MIAA team, Northeastern State. The team will tip-off at 2 p.m.