By Rick Peterson

After opening February with a disheartening 21-point loss to Emporia while scoring just 22 points, Washburn Rural's girls basketball team knew it needed to turn things around in a hurry if it was going to put together a strong late-season run.

DestinyOchsTHnew 2Washburn Rural senior Destiny Ochs scored 18 points in the Junior Blues' 65-36 win at Topeka High Tuesday night. [Photo by Doug Walker/TSN]

MaddieVickeryTHnew 4Washburn Rural freshman Maddie Vickery, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds, drives to the hoop against Topeka High's Keimara Marshall in Tuesday's 65-36 Junior Blue win over the Trojans. [Photo by Doug Walker/TSN]

Kevin Bordewick's Junior Blues have done just that, reeling off four straight wins, including a 65-36 Centennial League romp at Topeka High Tuesday night.

"We have seen a lot of improvement since Emporia, and I think a lot of it is the mental aspect,'' Bordewick said. "We had to get some confidence back because that was a rough one and it kind of shook us a little bit. It shook me a little bit.

"I feel like we're getting it back but I know that we still have a high ceiling. I know that we've got to get so much better on defense. We have to get so much more fluid and continuity on offense. We've just got to get more solid.'' 

Rural opened Tuesday's game with a Tenly Bunck 3-pointer and went wire to wire for the win, improving to 12-5 overall and 6-2 in the league.

The Junior Blues opened up a 20-6 first-quarter lead and took a commanding 34-15 advantage to the locker room at the half.

Rural led 50-29 at the start of the final stanza and opened up a 65-34 lead with 3:04 remaining to force a running clock the rest of the way.

Senior Destiny Ochs led three Junior Blues in double figures with 18 points while freshman Maddie Vickery added 14 points and 14 rebounds and senior Zoe Canfield finished with 10 points as nine Rural players cracked the scoring column.

"We're trying to work on other people scoring the ball consistently,'' Bordewick said. "I was kind of disappointed in our defense a little bit as far as what we knew they had and what they could do. I think we let them a little bit too much, but having said that, I thought offensively we were in more of a rhythm, I thought we were more fluid, I thought we were dishing the ball better and we had people make some plays.''

Topeka High (4-13, 1-7) got a game-high 20 points from freshman Ahsieryrhuajh Rayton while sophomore Keimara Marshall added 11 points.

Washburn Rural will be at home to face Manhattan Friday night while Topeka High will play at Hayden.


Washburn Rural  20 14 16 15  -- 65

Topeka High         6 9 14 7 -- 36

Washburn Rural (12-5, 6-2) -- Vickery 5-8 3-3 13, Hinck 3-6 2-3 8, Ochs 7-13 4-4 18, Canfield 4-12 2-3 10, Bunck 1-1 0-0 3, Hirschi 2-3 0-0 5, Horyna 0-1 0-0 0, Walker 0-0 1-2 1, Lemke 1-3 2-2 4, Carlgren 1-1 0-0 2, Hayes 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-49 14-17 65.

Topeka High (4-13, 1-7) -- Triplett 0-2 1-2 1, Conley 0-1 2-2 2, Marshall 4-13 2-2 11, Rayton 5-18 8-9 20, Gotru 1-4 0-0 2, Mayfield 0-0 0-0 0, Kincade 0-0 0-0 0, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 10-38 13-15 36.

3-point goals -- Washburn Rural 3 (Hirschi, Vickery, Bunck), Topeka High 3 (Rayton 2, Marshall). Total fouls -- Washburn Rural 11, Topeka High 12. Fouled out -- none. Technical foul -- none.

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