By Todd Fertig

The Shawnee Heights girls regular season ended in a perplexing and disappointing fashion Friday.

ReiannaVegaPiper 3Shawnee Heights sophomore Reianna Vega (42) led the T-Birds with 14 points in Friday night's 55-50 UKC loss to Piper. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Trying to retain a position near the top of the United Kansas Conference and angling for a preferable Class 5A sub-state slot, the T-Birds fell to Piper 55-50 at home.

Piper entered the contest with a 9-10 record, 6-9 in the conference. Shawnee Heights, meanwhile, was 14-5, 12-3 in the league. The T-Birds beat Piper by 14 earlier in the season.

But the records went out the window Friday night, and Piper made big plays late to pull off the upset.

“We knew this was not going to be one that you could sleepwalk through, and unfortunately between us missing easy shots and giving up offensive rebounds … we need to do better,” Shawnee Heights coach Bob Wells said. “(The coaches) need to do a better job of getting them ready. But to score 50 and not come out with a win kind of hurts.”

The game was tight to the very end. In fact, neither team led by more than three points until the final minute, when Piper was able to create a bit of breathing room. Tied at 48-48 with 2:40 left, the Pirates scored six straight points and their 7-2 run created the final margin.

Reianna Vega led Shawnee Heights with 14 points, followed by KK Emmot with 12. The T-Birds got a spark from Kaydence Torrez, who added eight points off the bench.

Guards led the way for Piper. Avary Vallejo hit four 3-pointers and led with 18 points. Lauren Marron and Anneliese Lockwood each contributed 14.

An issue for Shawnee Heights was a lack of production from behind the arc. The Pirates hit six 3-pointers to the T-Birds’ one.

The loss was particularly hurtful in that it will force the T-Birds into tougher matches once the sub-state seedings are revealed.

“I just told the girls, ‘We still have games to play. Things just got a little bit tougher,’” Wells said. “We’re going to have to come be a little more focused and be ready to go. We’re not going to beat people just because of the name on our jersey. We’ve got to go out and play every phase of the game. Tonight, I didn’t feel like every phase was in synch.”


Piper                      16 10 11 18 -- 55

Shawnee Heights 18 8 10 14 -- 50

Piper (10-10, 7-9) – Vallejo 6-15 2-2 18, Marron 4-11 4-7 14, Lockwood 6-11 2-2 14, Ochs 1-2 0-0 2, Grann 0-4 4-6 4, Roth 1-3 1-2 3, Gerber 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 18-47 13-19 55.

Shawnee Heights (14-6, 12-4) – Emmot 4-13 3-4 12, Schulte 0-4 0-0 0, Canady 3-12 0-0 6, Vega 7-14 0-2 14, Swift 2-3 0-0 4, Brees 1-3 2-2 4, Torrez 2-3 4-6 8, Euwer 0-0 0-0 0, Bowers 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 20-53 9-14 50.

3-point goals – Piper 6 (Vallejo 4, Marron 2), Shawnee Heights 1 (Emmot 1). Total fouls – Piper 13, Shawnee Heights 17. Fouled out – Emmot, Torrez. Technical fouls – None. 

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