By Matt Browning
The Garden Plain girls’ basketball team was chosen as the Visit Wichita Team of the Month for the Owls performance in the Class 2A state tournament. Garden Plain upset two-seeded Pittsburg Colgan in the first round then Smith Center in the semifinals before falling to Sterling in the finals.
Brooke Hammond, Sydney Puetz and Maddie Rolfs all scored double figures at least once in the state tournament.
“Our expectation was to compete at a high level in our league and postseason,” head coach Kody Kasselman said. “We feel we played our most consistent basketball in the last two weeks of the season and made a nice run to end the season. I’m very proud of our kids.”
Kasselman credited the Owls’ rugged league schedule and midseason tournament for their performance in the state tournament.
“As far as the key, we play a schedule during the regular season and mid-season tournament that prepares us to handle adversity,” Kasselman said. “We feel that prepares us best for moments like the postseason.”
Heading into the championship game with Sterling, Kasselman said Garden Plain embraced the underdog role.
“There was no pressure on us,” Kasselman said. “Enjoy the moment and take it to them. Sterling is a great team, and we have the utmost respect for their coaches and players.”