Going into the Class 2, District 13 championship game, the Archie girls, while seeded No. 2, were undefeated.
The Whirlwinds faced the No. 1 seeded team Skyline Feb. 23 at Osceola, losing the game 52-39.
“I thought we competed at a high level and for the most part did a good job of guarding the ball which was a concern of mine since they had four girls who all looked to drive to the lane and basket,” Archie head coach Troy Schulte said. “If we helped off on the drive they also had four girls who all could stand behind the three-point line and knock down shots. We got ourselves in trouble by giving up some offensive rebounds and they were able to hit some threes by kicking out the rebound.”
Skyline started out the game with a 18-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter and a 31-23 lead at halftime. Archie outscored Skyline 13-12 in the third quarter, closing the gap a bit to 43-36, but the Tigers outscored Archie 9-3 in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
Archie was led in scoring by Taylor Plattner with 15 points and Stefani Simms and Jordan Schulte with six points each. Sam Ogden had five points, Kaily Kurzweil had four points and Mallory Wiskur added three points.
“The toughest thing is not the loss, but knowing we cannot come together as team this week and keep battling together to continue getting better as a group,” Schulte said. “These young ladies have accomplished so much and impacted me and all those associated with them in so many positive ways it is unbelievable. I am thankful for the opportunity to have had the chance to call them my girls, my players and most importantly my team. It was a season of highlights and they truly achieved excellence.”
The Whirlwinds end the season with a 27-1 record.
“It was an absolute pleasure coaching these 14 girls on the team,” Schulte said. “I am extremely proud of what they accomplished together as a team. I thought we had the chance to have a good year, but never would imagine we would win 27 games in a row, three tournament titles, and go undefeated in a very competitive WEMO Conference.”
Archie fought past Western Missouri Conference rivals Osceola 62-55 in the semifinals Feb. 20.
“We had the game under control going into the fourth quarter and then made some uncharacteristic mistakes to let Osceola back in the game,” Schulte said.
The Whirlwinds led 17-11 at the end of the first quarter and 23-17 at halftime. Archie outscored Osceola 17-8 in the third quarter to take a 40-25 advantage.
The Indians put in 30 points to Archie’s 22 in the fourth quarter. With Archie ahead at 43-29, Osceola went on a 6-0 run to close the gap to 43-34. After a basket by Jordan Schulte, the Indians put in four more points. Ogden scored a shot, but so did Osceola to make the score 47-40.
Later in the game, with Archie ahead at 55-43, Osceola went on a 7-0 run edge closer to 55-50 with less than two minutes left. After a free throw from Leslie Iseman, Simms fouled out as Osceola made the score 56-52 with two free throws.
Schulte hit a free throw, but the Indians sunk three more to make the score 57-55 with just a minute left in the game. Osceola fouled Archie three more times before the game ended as Schulte added a free throw and Mary Kurzweil and Plattner added two apiece to seal the victory.
Archie was led in scoring by Plattner with 22 points and Simms with 18 points. Kaily Kurzweil had nine points, Jordan Schulte added six and Ogden four. Mary Kurzweil had two points and Iseman added one point.