Eagles fall in state title game

The girls basketball team finished second at the Class 5A tournament, losing 47-35 to St. Thomas Aquinas in the finals Saturday in Topeka. This was Maize’s third shot at the championship in four years.

It was a low-scoring game to start, with the first quarter ending 5-3. Maize’s first point came from senior Taylor Holmes, who scored a free throw with 44 left in the quarter. During the second quarter, the score was tied at 5-5 and 10-10. By the end of the third quarter, though, Aquinas led 26-14.

Maize made 20 percent of its shots, making 8 of 39 field-goal attempts. The Eagles also had 20 percent accuracy for three-pointers, making 3 of 15. Most of the Eagles’ scoring came at the line, where they made 16 of 18 free-throw attempts.

“We were just a little worn out from our two previous games,” coach Jerrod Handy said. “Our shots weren’t falling.”

Aquinas (22-3) won the title for the second season in a row. The Eagles finished the season 21-4.

Top scorers were Holmes with 15 points and senior Brecken Roe with 12. Other seniors on the team were Caitlyn Stewart, who didn’t score, and Jacey Handy, who was lost early in the season to a knee injury.

“The seniors were great,” Jerrod Handy said. “It was the best senior leadership I’ve ever had. The best team that came together that I’ve ever had. We put a lot into what we want done, and it was due to the seniors.”

As a whole, Handy said he was proud of the girls’ performance in the tournament and the season as a whole.

“I’m really proud of the girls this season,” he said. “They overcame a lot; they accomplished a lot. I wouldn’t trade this team for anybody. This group has accomplished a lot, getting second place against a good team like that. I’m really proud of them.”

Holmes shared her coach’s sentiments, saying she was happy with the team.

“I didn’t expect us to even get this far; I’m really proud,” she said. “All and in all, we played good.”