Eudora — Madison Bennett scored 11 points, and Veritas Christian’s girls basketball team defeated Heritage Christian, 39-35, in the first round of the KCAA state tournament on Thursday night.
Veritas coach Kevin Shelton estimated the Eagles had been on the loser’s side of the KCAA state bracket for the past four or five years.
This year, the Eagles have played their way to the semifinals.
“This is a great step for our program,” Shelton said.
The No. 5 seed Eagles trailed No. 4 seed Heritage, 24-14, at halftime.
“We made a great comeback,” Shelton said. “We talked about our defensive effort. We needed more.”
The talk worked. Veritas held Heritage to 11 points in the second half, while scoring 25.
Sarah McDermott added nine points, while Kristen Finger pitched in eight. Ellen Phillips had six, Shereen Fattaahi had two, and Caysi Gatts had one.
The Eagles (13-9) are on a roll. They’ve won eight of their past nine games after sitting at 5-8 earlier in the season.
Veritas will face No. 1 seed Manhattan Chief at 3 p.m. Friday at the Eudora Community Center. Chief defeated Veritas three times in the regular season.
Veritas 39, Heritage Christian 35
Heritage 12 12 5 6 — 35
Veritas 6 8 11 14 — 39
Heritage — A. Griffith 10, S. Lischke 13, J. Corwin 8, L. Corwin 2, S. Hinman 2.
Veritas — Caysi Gatts 1, Shereen Fattaahi 2, Madison Bennett 11, Kayli Farley 2, Ellen Phillips 6, Kristen Finger 8, Sarah McDermott 9.
Veritas record: 13-9