The St. John Lady Tigers are Sub-State Champions and will take on St. Paul in the first round of state competition.

There was one excited bunch as the St. John Lady Tigers took on Caldwell’s Lady Bluejays, the Tigers coming away with a 45-35 win at the Norwich Sub-State. Next comes the 1A div. 1 State Tournament held at the Fort Hays State Coliseum on Thursday.

Earlier on Friday, the Lady Tigers made it 2-2, defeating the Norwich Eagles 43-28 as Tara Nelson scored 23 points.

Going up against the Bluejays, the Lady Tigers was the shorter team, the Bluejays having two six-footers. Evidently the Bluejays weren’t set of for Tara Nelson as she controlled the boards and made six baskets, nailed a 3-pointer, and made a free throw. St. John’s Torre Fisher made a basket. The Tigers lead after one, 18-8.

After the score was 23-9 in the second, the Bluejays scored all seven points in the final minutes, as the Tigers go into the half leading 23-16. Scoring for the Tigers were Nelson with a basket and free throw, and Paige Doran made a basket.

St. John guard Torre Fisher starting coming alive scoring-wise in the third as she made an old fashion three, a basket and free throw. Nelson made a free throw and a basket, the Tigers lead 32-20 going into the fourth.

Fisher kept on penetrating the Bluejays defense, moving quickly to the basket, or burning seconds off the clock. While Fisher made just one basket, she forced a number of Bluejay fouls, was sent to the line and made seven free throws. St. John’s Jackie Rios made three, and Paige Doran made one. The Lady Tigers defeat the Bluejays 45-35 and move on to State.

Against the Norwich Eagles, the Lady Tigers led 12-2 after one, 21-8 at the half, 35-14 going into the fourth, and defeated the Lady Eagles 43-28.

Over all scoring for the Tigers: Nelson scored 23 points, Doran 8, Fisher 7, and Leslie Ramirez 5.

“Against Norwich I thought our girls dominated the entire game defensively to give us a comfortable win” said St. John’s head coach Danny Smith. “They didn't have much of an answer for Tara. Leslie Ramirez also went 2-2 and gave us a lift with a 2 and a 3.”

Smith continued saying, “Against Caldwell, the girls did a great job of getting Tara the ball and she really took it to them and gave us a big lead early. She had 16 of our first 18 points. Torre also had a good game offensively and shot a ton of free throws. I was proud of all the girls and the determination they played with. They worked their tails off this season and have earned every bit of success they've had. I'm very happy for them that they get to play another week in the state tournament. They deserve it with the schedule we have played. Every one of our six losses was to a ranked team and four of those losses are to teams who are still unbeaten (South Central and Central Plains). So I would say our schedule has helped prepare us for the post season.”

The Lady Tigers will play St. Paul in the first round of State.