|Ishante Suttington (Schlagle)|
The Lady Stallions have certainly taken a road less traveled to get their opportunity to play for a trip back to state. Most of the challenges they have faced this season have been off the court while on the court they claimed their first stand alone league title in many years and accumulated an 18-3 record. As if they needed any more challenges and perhaps a coaches worst nightmare happened Thursday. Team captains Riana Lawson and Kiara Brown were involved in a traffic accident that flipped their car upside down. Thank god for seat belts! If you are still not liking the story line how about they were facing Topeka Seaman that gave them their first loss earlier this year.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I arrived incredibly early and I walk in to see Brown and Lawson in uniform! I could not be more thankful to see this after seeing pictures of the car but how on earth was this possible. The kids spent the entire afternoon Thursday into the late night taking ice baths. The soreness obviously left them with a desire to give it a go and revenge was on the menu. These two ladies have a story to tell and will go down in SHUKC history for brushing this off and playing.
Senior guard Sa’Mone Springsteen got the Schlagle Stallions going in the first half with solid shooting. The Stallions however struggled to find their shooters as Seaman knocked down 3 first quarter 3’s to keep Schlagle with in reach at 15-13.
The Stallions opened the second quarter with a 7-2 run. They had a firm grasp of who they were closing out on and increased their defensive intensity. Riana Lawson and Ishante Suttington went to work to extend the lead to 29-15 and put the Stallions in complete control. The SHUKC area has been spoiled with incredibly gifted female players the last few years and these two young ladies were dazzling the gym with their ball handling and play making ability.
Suttington has “it”. She plays the game at a different skill level that I have honestly not seen from a SHUKC female player. Anna Deegan and Jessica Wayne were incredible female players and two ladies that claimed multiple SHUKC POY trophies. Ishante is more skilled than both of them as a freshman. I don’t mean this as a jab or slight to my POY selections of years past but to illustrate just how highly I think of the skill set she brings to the table. She can drive with either hand, anticipate and make quality moves to get to the rim and can finish. Solid from the free thrown line and has 3 point range on her jump shot.
With good reason I digress back to the game because literally nothing happened in the last 2:20 of the first half as the score stayed at 29-15. The Stallions were in firm control and were about to pull Seaman out of their zone.
The third quarter saw the intensity pick up as Seaman came out pressing with reasonable success at the start. The Stallions who was going to work on the clock early found themselves turning the ball over a few times to give Seaman some life. Despite Seaman’s best efforts the Lady Stallions finished the 3rd quarter leading 43-28.
The Stallions salted the fourth quarter away claiming their second straight substate championship 57-45. Despite many obstacles they will get a second chance at the state tournament in Topeka. Congrats to the coaches and players and best of luck this week!