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Orchard Farm sets school record with 11th successive win in GAC triumph over Winfield

Orchard Farm sets school record with 11th successive win in GAC triumph over Winfield

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WINFIELD — Kylie Williams knows the word is forbidden.

But the Orchard Farm High senior forward broke the rule Thursday night.

Williams and her teammates are not allowed to say "unbeaten."

Yet that is just where the Eagles stand after knocking off Winfield 62-42 in a GAC North Division contest in Lincoln County.

Orchard Farm coach Mike Seideman wants his players to stay focused and grounded. So, he prefers to have the girls keep a low profile, at least verbally.

"I know we're not supposed to say it," said Williams, who pumped in a game-high 16 points. "But it feels good to be unbeaten."

Senior Amelia Thro agreed, without actually using the forbidden phrase.

"This feels good. Really good," she said.

The Eagles (11-0, 2-0) not only remained perfect but set a school record with their 11th successive victory, eclipsing the mark of 10 set by the 1990-91 team, which went on to win a school-record 22 games.

Seideman did not tell his players about the school record until after the contest. It elicited a loud roar from the players in the locker room.

"A surprise," Williams said. "We celebrated."

This group is looking to make even more noise after the flawless start to the campaign.

"These still a lot more stuff to conquer," Williams said.

The Eagles are allowed to brag a little after Thursday's methodical triumph. They used a strong defensive effort in the first half before blowing the game open with a quick start to the third quarter.

Williams, who stands, 5-foot-11 and Thro, at 5-10, were able to do damage in close to the basket. Thro finished with 12 points.

Junior Olivia Goeke took care of the outside chores with 15 points, including a huge 3-pointer during the third quarter blitz.

"We try to play a little faster, but when our offensive execution isn't working the way that we usually plan it to, we have to rely on our defense," Seideman said. "We stick to our man-to-man principles, mix in a little zone — and it's been working."

The Eagles use as many as 10 players with their fast-paced style. That depth tends to wear down opponents.

"Their size really hurt us tonight," Winfield coach Austin Godfrey. "Their length gave us trouble."

Orchard Farm is coming off a successful five-year run of winning seasons. They went 12-11 last year and displayed plenty of potential.

Now, everything is coming together with five seniors in the mix.

The Eagles used a 15-6 blitz over the final 4 minutes, 50 seconds of the first half to take a 29-18 lead into the break. Goeke started the run with a 3, and Cami Nelson followed with a driving layup. Williams then scored from close range off a nifty pass from Addison Brown.

Orchard Farm came out with a long-range blitz to begin the second half. Brown and Thro drilled triples in the first 78 seconds to push the advantage to 35-21.

Winfield (6-9, 1-2) chopped a once 19-point deficit to 42-33 early in the fourth quarter on a basket by sophomore Renzlee Davidson, who finished with a team-best 14 points.

But Thro quelled the comeback with an old-fashioned three-point play.

The Eagles are one of just six teams — playing a full schedule — that remain unbeaten across the state. They have their sights set on a possible league title and hope to finish with a winning record in conference play for the first time in 11 seasons,

Orchard Farm is averaging 59 points per game and is on a pace to eclipse the school record of 55.3 set by the 1987-88 team. It also is allowing just 25.6 points per game, well ahead of the school mark of 32.5 set in 1976-77.

"This little school from out in the cornfield is in the big leagues now," exclaimed Williams.

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