Leah Renyer's clutch layup propels Sabetha to 3A girls' basketball state championship

It went the length, and Sabetha's Leah Renyer's layup was the deciding bucket in Sabetha's 3A state title berth.

Billy Watson
The Hutchinson News
Sabetha celebrates their 57-55 win over Hugoton during the Class 3A state semifinal game Thursday at the Sports Arena. Sabetha advances to the championship game and will play Cheney at 2 p.m. Saturday. To see more photos, go to www.hutchnews.com/sports/.

With under 20 seconds left and a 55-52 lead for the Hugoton Lady Eagles, Sabetha senior Leah Renyer hit a 3-pointer from the top of the arc to tie the game up in the Class 3A girls state semifinals.

Following the make, the Lady Eagles turned the ball over at halfcourt as the ball sailed out of bounds with 3.8 seconds left on the clock.

Out of the timeout, the Lady Bluejays set up an inbounds play and senior Melinna Schumman lobbed a pass inside to Renyer for the go-ahead layup as the buzzer sounded, sending the Lady Bluejays to the 3A girls championship game and beating Hugoton 57-55. 

"Yeah, that's a play we've worked on all year," Sabetha coach Nate Bauman said. "Two great players just making a great play.

"We just found ways to make plays at the end. I'm really not totally sure how it happened, other than great, tough kids making great plays for us."

Sabetha's Leah Renyer (31) shoots past Hugoton's Jordyn Beard (23) during the first half of their Class 3A state semifinal game Thursday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. In the last seconds of the game, Renyer made the winning 2-point basket as Sabetha defeated Hugoton 57-55. Renyer was the team's high scorer with 21 points.

The secret to Renyer's big shot? Trust in her teammates

Renyer finished with the team-high 21 points as the Lady Bluejays focus their attention to the undefeated Cheney Lady Cardinals in Saturday's title game.

Renyer said the play was about trusting whether Schumann was going to take the drive or pass her the ball, and it worked out at the end.

"I was really confident on whether (Schumann) was going to take it into the hoop or pass it to me," Renyer said. "Whatever she was going to do, I had confidence. So, once she made that throw and once (the ball) got into my hands, all I had to do was score and take it in and hopefully get the shot up."

It was a battle of runs between Sabetha and Hugoton

The Lady Bluejays jumped out to a 10-4 lead midway through the first quarter before the Lady Eagles battled back and trailed by two at the end of the period. In the second quarter, Renyer hit a 3-pointer and layup on back-to-back possessions that sparked an 8-0 run. The Jayhawks ended the half on a 13-2 run thanks to an Abigail Russell left-handed layup at the buzzer.

In the later third and early fourth quarter, Hugoton's Mikyn Hamlin came to life sparking a mounting comeback, hitting two 3-pointers to help cut the Lady Jayhawks' lead to three. Senior McKenna Hamlin tied the game at 48 with an elbow triple with 4:44 to go in the fourth quarter.

Melinna Schumann was the answer, however. The Sabetha senior answered the call as well and shot 4 of 6 from downtown on the night, finishing with 20 points in the win.

"I knew that we all had to come in confident," Schumann said, "and if you come in scared, nothing is going to come of us, and then my team had confidence in me, and I felt confident in myself."

The game was as tight as it looked as both teams shot 40% from the field. Sabetha finished the night 7 for 15 as a team from outside the arc, six of those makes coming from Renyer and Schumann. 

Hugoton's Summya Adigan (15) drives through Sabetha's Mary Lukert (10) and Meliinna Schumann (25) during their Class 3A state semifinal game Thursday at the Hutchinson Sports Arena. Sabetha defeated Hugoton 57-55.
Hugoton Lady Eagles wait to be given their third-place trophy and medals after losing to Sabetha 57-55 at the Class 3A state tournament on Thursday in the Hutchinson Sports Arena.

Mikyn Hamlin finished with a game-high 22 points in an impressive outing instrumenting a near comeback for the Lady Eagles. Sophomore Summya Adigun added 14 points and shot 8 of 19 from the field and made a 3-pointer, as well.

The Lady Bluejays improve to 22-2 on the year and have one team standing between them and a state title.

"We're going to celebrate quickly," Bauman said. "I'm sure (the girls) are going to get some good rest tonight. The coaches and I will stay up however long we need to get ready for Cheney so we can practice tomorrow and get ready for that."



SABETHA (22-2)

Krebs 1-3 1-3 3, Wessel 2-3 0-0 4, Schumann 8-18 4-6 20, Renyer 7-14 2-3 21, Stallbaumer 0-3 0-0 1, Dorn 0-0 0-0 0, Lukert 1-8 4-5 6, Wertenberger 0-0 0-0 0, Gruber 0-0 0-0 0, Russell 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 20-50 10-15 57. 

HUGOTON (23-1)

Mc. Hamlin 2-3 2-3 6, Vos 2-9 1-3 5, Adigan 5-9 1-1 14, Mi. Hamlin 8-19 4-13 22, McClure 0-1 0-0 0, Amerin 0-0 0-0 0, Haar 0-0 0-0 0.  Totals 20-49 7-16 55.



3-point goals—Sabetha 7-15 (Krebs 1-3, Schumann 4-6, Renyer 2-3, Lukert 0-3), Hugoton 8-20 (Mc. Hamlin 2-3, Vos 1-3, Adigan 1-1, Mi. Hamlin 4-13). Fouled out—None. Rebounds–Sabetha 30 (Renyer 8), Hugoton 37 (Beard 14). Turnovers—Sabetha 12, Hugoton 16. Total Fouls—Sabetha 16, Hugoton 12.