By Todd Fertig

The Washburn Rural girls earned their shot at a second straight Class 6A state championship by outlasting Blue Valley 51-39 at Wichita State's Koch Arena Friday afternoon. 

RuralBBjube2Washburn Rural celebrates after Friday's 51-39 Class 6A semifinal win over Blue Valley. [Twitter/Washburn Rural Athletics]

In doing so, the Junior Blues avenged a 41-31 loss to Blue Valley in their final game of the regular season.  

“I don’t know that we really competed the first time we played them,” Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said. “We had 21 or 22 turnovers the first time we played them (as opposed to just 10 on Friday). This time we just decided that we refused to lose. The heart and tenacity that this group showed today…it’s pretty amazing.” 

The victory set up a return performance in the state final at 6:15 p.m. Saturday to face Blue Valley North, a 50-42 winner over Derby in Friday's second semifinal. 

Senior point guard MaRyah Lutz sparked the Junior Blues in the second quarter with three 3-point baskets – the only points Washburn Rural would score in the period.

It was enough to outpace the Tigers 9-7 and stretched Washburn Rural’s lead to 19-14 at halftime.  

Lutz finished with 14 points Friday on the heels of her 19-point effort against Lawrence in the quarterfinals on Thursday. 

“I think my confidence level was up,” Lutz said. “As soon as I hit that first shot I felt like, ‘I got it.’ ” 

 Washburn Rural drew an unexpected opponent in the second round of the tournament in Blue Valley. The eighth-seeded Tigers upset top-seeded Shawnee Mission South the previous day. 

The Junior Blues faced the tough task of limiting the production of Blue Valley junior guard Jadyn Wooten, who has averaged 21 points per game on the year. The junior guard uses the dribble drive, frequently off ball screens, to penetrate and create her own shot.  

Bordewick assigned 6-foot senior Chloe Carlgren to try to slow Wooten down at the point, much as she did Topeka High star Kiki Smith a week earlier. Wooten accumulated 19 points on Friday, but had to take 23 shots to do so. 

“That was a tough job and I’m so incredibly proud of Chloe,” Lutz said. “I actually think that was the main thing that made us win today was Chloe’s defense.”  

Senior Brooklyn DeLeye led the Junior Blues with 18 points and 10 rebounds. She took just nine shots from the field, but knocked down 10 of 15 free throws, seven in the crucial final period when the Junior Blues missed several free throw attempts that could have proved costly. 

Desperate for steals and to extend the game, Blue Valley sent the Junior Blues to the line 32 times in the fourth period. Washburn Rural made 21. 

“That’s an important element of the game,” Lutz said. “We could have lost that game just because of our free throws. We’ve got to do better.” 

Washburn Rural got 11 points from Carlgren and eight from Kate Hinck, Junior Blues players – along with junior Destiny Ochs and sophomore Tenly Bunck – who watched last year’s championship from the sideline. Lutz said it is up to the seniors to help them prepare for the championship game. 

“We can’t lose that confidence level at all. We’ve got to have people step up,” Lutz said. “I know some of our little ones haven’t been here before, so we have to help them step up. That’s on me. I have to lead them.  

“The championship game is so much different. I will tell (the younger players) to be ready to fight. It will be tough. Everybody wants that ring.” 

“We have got three great seniors and I thought they just did a great job today,” Bordewick said. “And then you look at the minutes that Destiny gave us, and Tenly and Kate. All those guys just got together on defense and were real solid. I think we need to defensive rebound better, and I know we need to shoot free throws a lot better, but we found the way to get it done.” 

For the second game in a row, the Junior Blues played just six players. The fatigue of playing three games in three days doesn’t concern Bordewick, however. 

“We’re in good shape. That won’t hurt us at all,” the coach said. 

Washburn Rural defeated Derby to claim last season’s championship. With just two players back who played significant minutes a year ago, Bordewick said what happened last year doesn’t matter. 

“We’ve always taken that approach. This is a brand new year and a new group,” Bordewick said. “We’re not looking back at all. We’re just looking at what we’re going to talk about tonight (to get ready) for tomorrow.” 


Blue Valley                7 7 6 19 -- 39 

Washburn Rural       10 9 7 25 – 51 

Blue Valley (16-8) – C. Bax 3-10 0-0 6, E. Bax 3-8 0-0 8, Sogard 1-5 0-0 3, Lister 0-4 0-0 0, Wooten 7-23 5-6 19, Jarrell 1-1 0-0 3, Goldstein 0-0 0-0 0, Kennedy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-51, 5-6 39. 

Washburn Rural (18-5) – Lutz 4-6 3-3 14, Hinck 1-5 5-8 8, Carlgren 2-8 6-12 11, Bunck 0-3 0-0 0, DeLeye 4-9 10-15 18, Ochs 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 11-32 24-38 51. 

3-point goals – Blue Valley 4 (E. Bax 2, Sogard 1, Jarrell 1), Washburn Rural 5 (Lutz 3, Hinck 1, Carlgren 1). Total fouls – Blue Valley 25, Washburn Rural 10. Fouled out – C. Bax, Jarrell. Technical fouls – None.  

Family Service and Guidance Center presents “In the Know”

TSN In the Know Logo

Youth Suicide Prevention:            What Parents Need to Know

click video tab
A1 Lock Key Logo

Key perfomers of the week

JacksonEsquibelnewmugJakeMullermug4TreRichardsonBBmug 2

ChrisBarnes3 002


2023 Hall of Fame inductee Chris Barnes 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Gary Woodland

TSN Video Podcast