Labette County Advances - Season Ends for Lady Crusaders

Create: 03/08/2018 - 06:07
WHS Lady Crusaders @ State 4A Tournament

The WHS Lady Crusader's 2017-2018 season came to a close Wednesday evening - 4 young ladies that Lady Knight and Lady Crusader fans have followed since the 2012-2013 school year, saw their last action on the court as WHS basketball players. Thanks for the adventures Avery Rusk, Shayland French, Mekenna Adams and Gracie Fink! These "4" have to have as many or more "career victories" on the hard court than Lady Crusaders who have preceded. If not, gotta be close! 

Wellington, the #7 seed at the girls 4A Div 1 tournament in Salina, went up against the #2 seed Labette Co in opening evening action. The Lady Grizzlies jumped out to a double digit lead early and a scrappy and determined group of Wellington girls were able to battle back by mid 2nd qtr to only a 4 pt. deficit before Labette fired up their engines and took off again with effective shooting and ball control.

By halftime, the gap had begun to build and WHS found themselves down 18-29 with 2 qtrs to go. Labette came out on fire the 2nd half unfortunately and stretched their lead to the eventual 21 pt victory in the end,  (39-60) for two basic reasons, their shots were going down, the Lady Crusaders' shots were not.

The Rusk sisters, Senior Avery and Freshman Rylee combined for 28 pts (14 each), followed by Senior Shayland French with 8. Junior Jacelyn Buck added a 3. As mentioned, the Big Red shooting percentages suffered, 6/27 from the field (22%), 6/29 3 pt shots (21%). Free throws 9/14 (64%). All "9" of those FT's were made by the Rusk duo - Rylee went 8/10 from the line. Avery ended the season just "2" made free throws short of tying the WHS Season Record for "Free-Throws Made". Both drive to the paint a lot, drawing fouls with frequent regularity.

In total, it seemed there were at least "6" reasons to drive-away sad Wednesday evening from Salina, the first and actually the least significant, we lost. Reason 2, Coach Randy Strothman after 40 years of coaching and teaching in Wellington is moving on, and reasons 3, 4, 5, 6 - Avery, Mekenna, Shayland and Gracie, who pounded the courts in Wellington much to the delight of classmates, teammates and fans for 6+ years are moving on too. I'm happy for all of them, sad that that fork in the road has arrived though. Kudos to all of them, Coach Eric Adams, Coaches Samantha Brown and Jaedyn Ledesma and a great group of Lady Crusaders who will be back next year, and the year after, and the year after.  Proud to be a Crusader! (Kudos to the WHS Student Body and Fan Base - we were well represented and complimented by tournament officials for our sportsmanship)

The Lady Crusaders ended the season at 14-9. Here are game stats vs Labette and overall stats for the entire season:

Field Goals 6/27 22% / Free Throws 9/14 64%
3 Pointer 6/29 21% / Turnovers 16
Off. Reb. 11 / Def. Reb. 23 / Steals 9 / Asst4

SEASON TOTALS (unofficial)

FIELD GOALS / 246/563 (44%)
FREE THROWS / 257/395 (65%)
3-POINT SHOTS / 106/406 (26%)
STEALS / 277
T/0's / 380


Avery Rusk / 362 pts
Shayland French / 210 pts
Rylee Rusk / 154 pts
Taylor Meyer / 134 pts
Jacelyn Buck / 78 pts
Mekenna Adams / 47 pts
Lexi Clift / 29 pts
Draven Warnock / 24 pts
Gracie Fink / 20 pts
McKenna Jones / 6 pts
Natalie Henning / 3 pts


This concludes the WINTER SPORTS SEASON 2017-2018 @ WHS and WMS - bring on SPRING!

About Author

Steve Sturgis's picture
Steve Sturgis
Steve graduated from Wellington High School in 1974 and then Wichita State University (with honors) in 1979 with a B.S. Degree in Administration of Justice; his minor was in Sociology. Steve has held several positions ranging from Juvenile Court Service Officer, to District Manager in Circulation at the Wichita Eagle, Q.A. Planner at Boeing, Caregiver, Psychiatric Technician, Limo Driver, Ranch Hand, Photographer, Webmaster and Website Developer and a die hard Crusader Fan since the early 1960's. Contact the ole boy at or on Facebook or at any Crusader and/or Knight event year-round.