Click on Pictures
for a larger view.
More Pictures at the
bottom of the page, Thanks Barb Knobbe.
2nd place trophy 1973
Team members included Nancy Foulks,
Redger, Ann Hastings, Candy
Boardman, Sandy Culver, Kim Dewey,
Robin Hefner, Crystal Koehn, Cindy
Pictures below are of
Winning Sub-State, 1998 On To
Team members are back
row left to right.
Kelli Small, Kelly Tucker, Kelley Kramer, Amber
Front row left to right.
Crista Grasser, Desirae Hanks,
Jara Coles, Molly
Reimer, Dee Ewart.
Not pictured, Coach Tom
Smith and Assistant
Coach, Shonda Nolan.
Flag that hangs in the new
The Lady Jays Mantra.
Do you have stories or
pictures you would like to add to this page?
Let me know and I will
try to include them. Also, let me know of any corrections I
need to make.
Molly and Jara.
Jara comes up with the
Coach Smith gives
A Tense moment.
We Did It.
ago the Lady Jays finished second in the
inaugural State Women's Basketball
championships. No one had given
them much of a chance when the season
began but as time went on it was obvious
they were very special ladies. We
were very proud of their effort and I
remember how the season started with
very few fans showing up for the games.
However, as the season progressed and we
figured out what we had, the numbers
It was fun to see
the steady improvement that those ladies
made. Women's basketball had been
played for many years at some of
the area schools but was relatively new
to Cimarron. I had a cousin
that played for Ingalls. It was a
lot different game up to this time as
they played half-court ball and it was
at a much slower pace. One of the
really neat things is how women's Basketball has
evolved over the years. The game of
today is much quicker and faster and the
skill level overall has improved
eventually lost in the finals in a hard
fought game that first year. It
was a hard loss but we were all
tremendously proud of our team. As
the years progressed, Cimarron's new
crop of young ladies was working
hard for a chance to avenge the loss in
the 1973 Championship game.
1990's Cimarron started to see some very
special things happening in our local
Ladies basketball program. Among
those were basketball camps, summer
leagues, and young women working hard on
their basketball skills and taking the
game very seriously. Once
again the attendance started to grow and
it was not unusual to see a larger crowd
at the Ladies' games than at the
In the mid-90's
Cimarron was blessed with many young
ladies that possessed a special talent
for the game of basketball. Some
of these ladies were children of players
from the 1973-second place state
team. They eventually evolved into a
nearly unbeatable group of ladies. It
was obvious that these ladies were an
exceptional group, but every time they
were about to make their move to the
next level something always stood in
their way. Most of the time it was
Lakin's Lady basketball team.
I remember the
sub-state championship game against
Lakin at Oakley in 1997. Cimarron
had a lead that was sure to send them to
state. But like many other times, the
Lakin ladies fought back to win.
The Lady Jays of 1997-1998 were about to
change all of that.
Jays Win Sub-State 1998
Cimarron came into the Sub-state
playoffs seeded number three and their first
game was against one of their long time
nemeses, Holcomb. This was the
Jays last home game and they won it in
great style. The leading scorer for
the Lady Jays was Dee Ewart with 16
points. Jara Coles added 14 and Molly
Knobbe 12. Everyone knew that the
next loss was going to end the season and it was obvious that they were
not going to let that happen any time
we traveled to Southwestern Heights to
face the number two seeded
Broncs. Lakin was undoubtedly our
number one rival in the nineties, and
they brought a number two State ranking
into the game. Cimarron's
Head Coach Tom Smith was quoted "Our
defense was stupendous, superb, and
outstanding. We forced 39
turnovers by the usually steady Broncs."
The Broncs came back to send the game
into overtime but the Lady Jays held on
for the win. Cimarron shot a
horrible 16% but held Lakin to just 40
points in the game. Kelly Kramer
had 13 rebounds, 9 of them on the
facing Cimarron was the number one
ranked team in the State,
Medicine Lodge. Once again, the
BlueJay defense turned the game around
and the offense took over. Jara
Coles scored 18 points in the second
half. A great surprise came from
freshman Karody Stucky who came off the
bench to play some great defense and
also ended up the number three scorer
for the Jays with seven points.
Smith was again quoted, "We knocked
off Medicine Lodge, Lakin and Holcomb to
win the Sub-State Championship and
advance to Hutchinson. We do
not know who we play yet because the
weather has postponed some games and we
may not know before press time for the
paper. But, whomever we play, we will
pressure them on defense and we will
play with our hearts on the outside of
our jerseys and play as hard as
any team you ever saw in your life.
This team is the most courageous and
toughest team in the state, bar none."
Cimarron Lady Jays Go
of the season the Lady Jays had relied
on their super guards, Molly Knobbe, Jara Coles and Dee Ewart to
carry much of the load. The
against Leavenworth Immaculata saw a big
change in that. We had always known how good the front line
could be and they certainly carried
the offense throughout much of the game.
Kelly Tucker had a great first
quarter scoring seven of her 19 points.
Kelly Kramer came off the bench and
added another 10 points. Amber
Miller and Karody Stucky also came up
big under the basket for the Jays.
By the half the Jays had a 23-20
lead. The third quarter was played
evenly but the Jays pulled away and beat
Immaculata 48-36. The Jays had
held a state qualifier to under 40
points and were pumped and ready to
finish their mission.
County had just come off a big overtime
win against top seeded and previously undefeated Erie. They
were big and fast but Cimarron's great condition, running game and depth were
the difference in this game. All
12 members of the team played and
contributed to beat Riley County
finished the game with 18 points while
Knobbe and Kramer each added 12
big difference in scoring came down to
free throws and three point shooting. Cimarron made 21 of 27
from the charity stripe while Riley
County only converted 17 of 29.
The Jays also scored 5 big three
game had everything you could ever ask
for in a championship game. Every
Cliché you could ever think of applied
at one time or another in the game.
An early knee injury to starting guard
Dee Ewart forced Coach Smith to move
Kelly Kramer to the perimeter. She
did a great job while her replacements
Crista Grasser, Shanon Kindsvater, and
Desirae Hanks played great defense in
girls scored in double figures led by
Knobbe with 17, Tucker 14, Amber Miller
a tremendous 11, and Jara Coles with 10.
Player after player kept coming up big
for both teams. Cimarron went into
the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead
and everything looked great for the
we committed two turnovers and our
defense broke down and Conway Springs
came roaring back. Molly Knobbe
was called for her fifth foul
midway through the fourth quarter.
Now with two starters on the bench the
Cimarron faithful took a deep breath.
Conway tied the game to send it into
over time. I recall Molly, always
the spark on defense and often on
offense, working just as hard on the
sideline as she had in the game,
coaching and encouraging her teammates.
could see a look in Jara's eyes that let
us all know that one way or another they
were going to win the game. One
lady after another stepped up big for
the Jays. Our Big girls made
rebounds and shots that were seemingly
impossible. The Jays went on to
outscore Conway Springs 8-2 in the
overtime. Conway had chances at
the line but went 0 for 4.
was as if they had just run out of gas.
The depth that Coach Smith had worked so
hard on to develop had paid off big time
for Cimarron, the new Kansas State Class
3A Women's Basketball Champions.
special note should go out to the
student body and community for their
support of these ladies. It seemed
many times the Cimarron crowd was
larger than the home team at our away
games. I also know that the
support of the parents was a very big
factor. I watched for years as
parents sacrificed days and days of
their time so this group of ladies could
be the best they could be.
of these ladies, if not all, spent most
of their summers in camps, leagues and
tournaments. Also, I must include
previous teammates and the hours spent
helping to improve the playing skills of
the Lady Jays.
of course the coaching staff. It
takes that special little bit of
something extra to put a team over
the top. Talent is of course a
must but the will to win must be
instilled at all times. I have
always felt that the coaches' ability
to keep a team believing in themselves
is as important as their ability to run
the right plays at the right time with
the right individuals. Although
this team may have required a smaller
amount from the coaches than other
teams, I know that not every coach could
have gotten them to the finals.
Thanks Tom Smith and Shonda Nolan.
most of all, thank you ladies for
everything. We could not be
prouder of you.
to the Jacksonian for much of the game and
picture material for this page.
Smith holds up three fingers. They
stand for "Communicate,
The Community Shows its appreciation.