American Implement Western KS Team of Week: South Gray

After a Class 1A state berth, Montezuma-South Gray girls have opened 5-1 this year with an impressive resume against multiple teams that finished last winter with winning records.

The Rebels are again ranked No. 4 in Class 1A behind Central Plains, Olpe and Hanover following an eight-victory improvement and 21-5 mark in ’18-19. South Gray returns five players with starting experience. Their lone loss coming to Spearville who is ranked #5 in the class above (2A). 

On Dec. 6, South Gray defeated Bucklin, 65-31. On Dec. 9, the Rebels won at Cimarron, 62-38, in the first game of the Bluejay Invitational. On Friday, South Gray earned a 55-27 victory versus Southwestern Heights.

On Saturday, SG followed that with a 66-19 win against Sublette. South Gray led Sublette, 26-2, after the first quarter. Sublette was 2-1 entering the contest and finished 14-9 last winter, its fourth consecutive winning season.

It marked the first time South Gray had defeated Bucklin by at least 30 points since Feb.  5, 2010, and the biggest margin versus Cimarron since Dec. 13, 2008.

SG was 2-5 in its last seven meetings versus the Bluejays. South Gray has not lost to Southwestern Heights since ’14, and had split the last four meetings with Sublette.

On Tuesday, South Gray won at Ingalls, 50-40. SG had a 14-2 edge in steals versus the 4-2 Bulldogs.

The Rebels have a big game Friday at Spearville in Southern Plains Iroquois play. The Lancers are ranked No. 5 in 2A.

Last year, the Rebels fell to Bucklin, 55-41, in the season opener. SG eventually earned second in the midseason Southern Plains Iroquois tournament to Coldwater-South Central, 44-40. Then, the Rebels, coached by Paul Clancy, reeled off 10 straight victories on the floor, including a 41-40 win versus Spearville in sub-state. Christy Wiebe delivered 17 points in the win.

SG drew the No. 8 seed in the first round at state and lost to Central Plains, 63-28. CP has won six straight state titles and currently has the longest winning streak in state history. SG was never ranked in the top-10 of Class 1A all winter.

Wiebe, a senior this season, is averaging 18.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 steals per contest. Before the Central Plains victory, she helped key the winning streak with 11 straight double figure contests. Her season high was 22 points in a 54-43 victory versus Cunningham on Feb. 28. Wiebe earned second team all-league and honorable mention all-state.

As well, seniors Emma Jantz (six points, 3.7 assists, 3.2 steals a contest) and Trudy Martens (3.6 points, 2.9 rebounds) are back. Sarah Tarn is the team’s fourth senior.

SG has a pair of key juniors with Megan Tarn and Debbie Peters. Tarn delivered 7.6 points, 2.8 steals, 2.7 assists and a pair of rebounds a contest. Peters had 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game. Martens and Peters are both 6-foot.

This year, SG ran out to a 23-8 first-quarter lead versus Bucklin. Wiebe finished with 26 points and six rebounds, while Tarn had seven assists. South Gray sunk 9 of 25 (36 percent) from 3-point range. Peters delivered 16 points. That remains Bucklin’s only loss. The Red Aces were 15-9 and 16-6 the last two seasons.

Cimarron opened 3-0 when not playing South Gray and has a long history of success with at least 12 victories every year since ’08-09.

SG led 22-20 after the first quarter and outscored the Bluejays, 9-0, in the second quarter. Overall, SG held a plus-20 edge on the glass. Wiebe again tallied 26 points, and sophomore Attison Clark finished with 11 rebounds. Jantz delivered six assists.

Southwestern Heights led South Gray, 10-4, after the first quarter before SG had at least a seven-point advantage in each of the next three quarters. Peters scored 13, Wiebe had 11, and Clark finished with 10. Against Sublette, Wiebe continued her double-figure run with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Versus Ingalls, Wiebe finished with 18 points, Clark had nine rebounds, and Tarn had five assists.

This is the third straight year Wiebe has averaged double figures after 11.1 per game as a sophomore.

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