v Faces in KS: Katy Heger & Amy Scott - Sports in Kansas

Faces in KS: Katy Heger & Amy Scott

Katy Heger (left) & Amy Scott (right) look to lead Hugoton to another state title. (Ellens Photo)
By: Sports in Kansas - Sean Boston
Jan 31, 2017

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Located in southwestern Kansas, Hugoton is home to Subway, McDonalds, a couple of other mom and pop restaurants and nearly 3,000 people. As you head west through town on U.S. Route 56 that runs through the south side of town, you’ll run into Hugoton High School. The Eagles compete in class 3A and play in the Great West Activities Conference.

If you were to stop by Hugoton High School on a Tuesday or Friday night in the winter time when the basketball teams are playing at home, then you’d be in for a show. The Eagles girls basketball team has put themselves on the map in southwestern Kansas as one of the top teams in the state. The Eagles are off to a 13-0 start and are ranked No. 1 in class 3A. They’ll take their perfect record to test as they host Holcomb in a league game this evening.

The Lady Eagles tradition on the basketball court hasn’t just been a theme for the small 3A school, it has taken time and effort by the coaching staff and players. Hugoton girls went 5-16 in the 2010-2011 season, but have had winning seasons ever since. Hugoton head coach Andy Gillen took over for his father after the 2011-2012 season, a team that went 15-6.

Gillen took over the program while his dad took a job at Garden Plain. Gillen has guided the Eagles to five straight winning seasons, including a 22-2 finish and a state title in 4A-II in 2015. Gillen then guided Hugoton to a third place finish last season and are on their way back to another state tournament, however this one would be in 3A, rather than 4A-II.

The time and effort put in by this team’s seniors have been a big part of the winning success. Katy Heger and Amy Scott are two seniors on this year’s Eagles team that have put in four years of hard work and it is paying off for the two.

Heger is averaging nearly 16 points per game and has scored nearly 1,500 career points in a Hugoton jersey. She has also earned first team all-league honors in her three years and will look to make it four straight when this season comes to a close. Heger is shooting over 50 percent from the field and has taken nearly 900 attempts in her career. The recognitions go on and on for Heger, including the Most Outstanding Player in the 2015 state tournament, as well as 4A-II Player of the Year in her sophomore campaign. Heger also competed on the Lady Eagles state champion cross country team this past fall. She will continue her academic and athletic career in the fall at Washburn University in Topeka.

Another part of the foundation for the Hugoton Lady Eagles is Amy Scott. Scott is averaging nearly 15 points per game in her career and is also over the 1,000 mark in her 3-plus seasons. Scott is shooting almost 40 percent from behind the arc, taking around 350 attempts. She also is a threat to draw a foul and make you pay for it, as she is shooting around 80 percent from the free-throw line. Scott has also piled up the awards, earning first team all-league honors all three seasons, as well as multiple all-state and all-tournament teams. Scott will continue her playing career next fall at Seward County Community College located about 35 miles southeast of Hugoton in Liberal.

Heger and Scott are one of six seniors on this year’s Hugoton roster. When Heger and Scott are on the court, Hugoton is 78-8 (91 percent). The Eagles have made the trip to the state tournament for three consecutive years after Hugoton had made just one trip prior to Heger and Scott’s freshman year back in 1993. Hugoton has dominated its league opponents over the past 3-plus seasons going 32-2 in the GWAC. Those two losses both came in Heger and Scott’s freshman year. The Eagles have also been tough to beat at home, losing just one game in Heger and Scott’s careers.

Heger and Scott aren't the only ones producing big for the Eagles. Junior Dallie Hoskinson and senior transfer Syndey Hein, an Oklahoma Baptist signee, are also All 3A caliber of players for the 13-0 squad.  

The basketball fever is high in Hugoton right now and will look to continue throughout the season. The Lady Eagles have the No 1 ranking in 3A, while the boys are ranked No. 4 in 3A. The Eagles will look to soar through the rest of the regular season and into the state tournament held at the Sports Arena in Hutchinson on March 8-11.

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Special Thanks to Jeff Ramsey of J Ramsey Agency Farm Bureau Financial Services in Hugoton, a Farm Bureau Agent for 27 years, for powering all updates w/ Hugoton Athletics in 2016-2017. Find him online here or at 613 S. Main in Hugoton. Go Eagles! 

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Q&A w/ Heger

Q: You've won 91% of your games in a Hugoton jersey, what does that
say not just about you two, but about the way this program is coming
along?

A: Amy and I have always played for the love of the game. The team has
evolved around great leadership from our coaches, and a team that has
been willing to be coached. One of our strongest traits we show as a
team is how hard we play. Coach Gillen is always preaching to us to go
hard in practice every single day, because the effort you put out in
practice is the effort you will put out into a game; which has led us
to our success to where this program is standing now.

Q: You made it back to the state tournament last year after winning
the title in '15, what will it take to get back to that state
championship game and win it this year?

A: It will take lots of heart, sacrifice and playing as a team to get
to our goal. We all have one goal on this team to achieve; which is,
of course, to get another title. We just have to keep doing what we're
doing, and buy into whatever our team needs and put them first.  One
thing we always go back and refer to is one of my teammates quotes.
Sydney Hein said in one of our team meetings: " This team doesn't owe
you anything but you owe this team everything." I think this is
important for us to always go back and look at, because working
together for each other will be key this year.

Q: How big will the transition from 4A-II down to 3A be for you guys?

A: The transition was pretty big. I think whether we would be 4A-ll
or 3A, it is going to be tough for post season. This won't change our
routine. We will play just as hard, and will take every opportunity we
get to our advantage the best we can as a team.

Q: What game has been the most memorable to you in your high school career?

A: My most memorable game would be the sub-state championship game,
when we played against Pratt my sophomore year. That game was won by
playing hard to the very last second, and never giving up. It was a
battle back and forth during the whole game. We just happened to come
out on top. When we won that game; I knew if we played like that, we
could win state. The atmosphere in that game,  from the crowd, our
team, the bench, and coaches, gave us a high level of energy that
permeated through us. It was a very special moment that I won't ever
forget.

Q: You've lost just one game at home in your high school careers, what
does that say about your home court advantage?

A: I definitely believe we have a big home court advantage. I know as
a team, defending our home court is very important to us. We love
playing in front of our own crowds at home. Their support brings that
extra energy level to us as a team. I think that is why we have always
played well at home.

Q: Hugoton has dominated the GWAC in your four years, why have your
teams been so successful against league competition?

A: One of the key reasons why we've been so successful in our league
is because of how hard we play as a team. We always try to out play
our opponent, no matter if its a league team or not. Trying to win
GWAC has always been one of our goals each year.

Q: What do you like best about your game?

A: What I like best about my game, is being able to shoot and drive;
and trying to get steals and stops on defense. I definitely play my
best whenever our whole team is clicking. We all get this bond on the
court knowing how well we are playing, and we don't let up. That makes
a huge impact on my game, and helps me bring the energy I need to
every game. Whenever the whole team is playing good defense, it gets
us motivated. When we start and finish the game with a certain level
of intensity, it is key to what helps us win games, and being
successful over all.

Q: You've made 51% of your shots in high school. How many shots a day
are you taking in practice and how much do you work on your shot in
the offseason?

A: I would say I take a minimum of 300 shots every day at practice.
Even when practice is over, I always stay and shoot to get in my extra
shots. You can never get enough practice shooting, and trying to
improve your game. In my offseason, it is a little harder for me to
get in the gym, because I am usually running at cross country or at
track practice. I always make an effort to get in the gym at least 3
days a week, to keep up on my ball handling and shooting skills.

Q: You're not just a good offensive player, you have over 300 steals.
What makes your defense so good?

A: When I'm on my best game, it is because I am playing good defense.
I have always loved defense, especially when we press during games.
Ever since I was a freshman, I loved to gamble and go for the ball, no
matter my position on defense. That skill has carried me over
throughout  the years, and is why defense has always been a huge part
of my game.

Q: You were also a member of the 3A XC state champs, how does that feel?

A: Cross Country has always been a sport that I have loved ever since
I started running in 7th grade. Coach Rod is an awesome coach. He
definitely has a passion for the sport, and is one reason why we are
successful in that sport. We knew dropping to 3A was a huge advantage
for both the girls and boys teams. Since state was at Rim Rock Farms,
instead of Wamego, we only got to see the state course the day before
the actual state meet. We didn't do anything different at state. We
ran like we had been running all year. It was pretty awesome getting a
state championship in that sport, with that team. We know how hard it
was to go out everyday in the heat and to wake up early and suffer
through practice everyday; knowing what we were working for in the
end. When we knew we won state after the race, we all just started to
cry because we knew from the beginning it was possible. When we
achieved our final goal, it was a very special moment for us.

Q: Do you compete in any sports in the spring?

A: I run track in the spring. I usually compete in the 4x800, 800 and
sometimes the 4x400.

Q: How long have you been playing basketball?

A: I have been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. I
started when I was 6 years old, going to my first basketball camp in
Ulysses. Pioneer Communications sponsors a camp for youth. Coach
Chipman brings KSU, KU, WSU, and Washburn University players to work
with the kids for two days. That is where the love of the game first
started for me; and where I met my mentor, Shalee Lehning. She
inspired me to play basketball. I have looked up to her on and off the
court since the day I met her at the Pioneer basketball camp. I loved
to watch her play, because she played with all her heart and passion.
I wanted to play just like she played! She inspired me to be the
player I am today.

Q: Most embarrassing moment of your high school career?

A: One of my embarrassing moments during a game was when we were
stalling out the clock, and the crowd was counting down trying to
confuse us. When they said “3, 2, 1” I threw up a shot, and it hit the
side of the backboard. It was at home in front of everyone, not one of
my brightest moments on the court.

Q: One thing that most people don't know about you?

A: I have a shy but humorous personality.

Q: What was your decision like to choose Washburn? Did you have other offers?

A: I knew when I visited Washburn, watching them play, meeting the
coaches, and all the players. It was the right fit for me. I did have
some other offers, but Coach McHenry, and his staff, have been very
loyal to me. Washburn was always close to my heart. Washburn just felt
right for me. They have an awesome program, and I can't wait to be a
part of it next year!

Q&A w/ Scott

Q: You've won 91% of your games in a Hugoton jersey, what does that
say not just about you two, but about the way this program is coming
along?

A: Our team has had a lot of success because we understand that
winning isn’t about individual success, but rather team work and
sacrifices for the team.

Q: You made it back to the state tournament last year after winning
the title in '15, what will it take to get back to that state
championship game and win it this year?

A: Winning a state championship is a difficult task. All the pieces
have to fit together to win. Your teammates must be healthy, stay out
of foul trouble, and you can’t have on off night because there are no
second chances.

Q: How big will the transition from 4A-II down to 3A be for you guys?

A: If you are fortunate enough to make it to the state tournament, all
the teams are going to be good regardless of classification and you
have to bring your A game if you want to win.

Q: What game has been the most memorable to you in your high school career?

A: In 2015, we won a close game in our substate over Pratt. If we
would have not won this game, we wouldn’t had the chance to go on to
the state tournament and win.

Q: You've lost just one game at home in your high school careers, what
does that say about your home court advantage?

A: We have great support from our community and fellow students. They
show up to the games and cheer us on.

Q:  Hugoton has dominated the GWAC in your four years, why have your
teams been so successful against league competition?

A: We’ve had success over the last four years in and out of our league
because we’ve worked hard for many years to develop our basketball
skills.

Q: What makes you so hard to guard?

A: My teammates and I work hard to get good scoring opportunities for
each other. When we play as a team, we are all hard to guard.

Q: You've been able to show your range a lot in your career, what has
made you so successful from behind the arc?

A: I’ve spent countless hours year round in the gym since third grade
working on my shooting and basketball skills. Basketball is a skill
game and if you want to be good at something, you have to do a lot of
reps.

Q: What is it like knowing you and Katy are so hard to stop on the court?

A: When my teammates play together, make the extra passes, and play
how we are suppose to, then anyone on our team becomes a threat.

Q: Do you have any game day routines you like to do?

A: I eat a snickers before every game.

Q: Most embarrassing moment of your high school career?

A: When I was a freshman, I was making a cross court pass, it hit the
backboard and bounced into the backcourt.

Q: What made you choose Seward for next year? Any other offers?

A: I had other offers, but decided on SC because:

I like the coach.

SC is a successful program and I wanted to play for a school that has
had a lot of success.

I am going to be a pre med major and SC will provide me with the right
classes to be successful

Q: Who are some other players on this team to look out for?

A: Everyone on our team has something to offer and when everyone plays
their role, then everyone on the team brings something for the other
team to look out for.

Q: One thing most people don't know about you?

A: I've never been to a beach, but I really want to go.

Q: Do you play any other sports?

A: No, I play basketball year round.