by Brian Turrel
The Piper Lady Pirates defeated conference rivals Eudora on Friday night, claiming the Frontier League crown with a 48-39 home win.
The title was up for grabs coming into the game, with both teams boasting undefeated conference records. Eudora fought tough through the first half on the strength of freshman Sawyer Schreiner’s lights-out shooting.
As the game wore on and Piper focused its defense on stopping Schreiner, the Lady Cardinals’ offense struggled, while the Lady Pirates surged ahead.
Piper’s offense was powered by senior Ali Vigil. Vigil scored inside and out, hitting 3 three-pointers and scoring 19 overall. She also served as a primary ball-handler while point guard Evelyn Vazquez sat out parts of both halves with foul trouble.
Vigil was also recognized on the court during a break in the fourth quarter for scoring her 1,000th career point.
Piper recognized senior players in a ceremony after the game. Ali Vigil, Emma Serrano, Riley Porter, Grace Banes, Ayreona Carter and Ashley Williams were honored.
Piper will head into the KSHSAA 4A sub-state playoffs next week. Brackets and game times will be announced Saturday morning.
Piper is ranked second in the state in the 4A division and Eudora is ranked third, so a rematch with the Lady Cardinals is a good possibility. Also looming is a potential showdown with last year’s champion, the top-ranked Bishop Miege Lady Stags.
Update: The Piper Lady Pirates will open the KSHSAA 4A sub-state playoffs by playing host to Ottawa on March 3, tipping off at 7 p.m.