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Indian boys roll past Liberal -- girls fall

1/11/2014

By AUSTIN COLBERT

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

Even late into the second half of Friday's game, the Hays High School students would not let Liberal's Britton Abbott forget what happened in the first quarter. The chant of "You got dunked on" was loud and clear nearly every time he touched the ball.

It started midway through the first quarter when Hays High point guard Kyler Niernberger's perimeter jump pass found 6-foot-7 junior Brady Werth, who slammed in the alley-oop dunk over the 6-foot-3 Abbott, drawing a foul in the process.

"I always see it work in practice. We ran it in a game a couple times but we never really had time to throw it down," Niernberger said. "I just knew it was a matter of time before it actually went down and it went down big."

Werth's 3-point play was the highlight of a 12-0 Indian run in the first quarter, ultimately leading to a 78-49 win over Liberal (2-5, 0-1 WAC) for the Hays High boys' basketball team in its WAC opener at the HHS gym.

"That definitely was a momentum builder for the team," Niernberger said. "We just grew off that and kept on going and never looked back."

Hays High's lead reached 21-8 before a 6-0 run by Liberal made it 21-14 heading into the second quarter. The rest of the half was complete dominance by the Indians.

"We had some moments where I thought we had a really good first quarter, then we kind of let them back in," Hays High coach Rick Keltner said. "I thought we improved as the game progressed."

Hays High (7-0, 1-0 WAC) outscored the Redskins 18-3 in the second quarter. Liberal was 0-for-8 from the field during the stretch, with all of its points coming from the foul line. The Indians finished the quarter on a 13-0 run and led 39-17 at the half.

Hays High forced Liberal into 11 first-half turnovers and finished with 23 for the game, compared to only six for the Indians.

"We felt like our defense in the first quarter wasn't that great," Niernberger said. "We definitely had to focus on pressuring their shooters and boxing out and playing good defense. And it worked."

The Indians opened the third quarter on a 12-0 run to make it 51-17. Then Liberal's Hayden Coker got a basket with 4:38 to play in the quarter, the Redskins' first field goal since the final seconds of the first quarter.

Hays High's largest lead was 39 points at 62-23 late in the third.

The Indian reserves got extended playing time throughout the game, led by a season-high 11 points from WaKeeney-Trego Community transfer Clayton Riedel. Riedel, a 6-foot-5 senior, scored 10 points in a 61-27 win over Pratt on Tuesday.

"I feel like I'm relaxing more and just going out there and doing my own thing," Riedel said. "The first couple of games I was really nervous and wasn't playing like I really do. But I'm finally starting to relax and have fun out there."

Hays High had three other players finish in double figures, led by Werth's 18 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Senior guards Jordan Windholz and Lane Clark finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively.

Abbott finished with 14 points for Liberal, the only Redskin in double figures. Abbott was 4 of 14 from the foul line, while Liberal was 11 of 27 as a team.

Slow start leads to loss for Hays High girls

Hays High School girls' basketball coach Kirk Maska knows how to fix the Indians' sluggish offense -- the players need to shoot the ball more. How he gets them to do that, he doesn't know.

"That would be the one thing I think everyone would want to do that plays the game. We would pass up open shots and throw it around until we threw it away," Maska said. "We have some younger girls that aren't shy at all about shooting and they will just fire it right up, so maybe we need to get them a few more minutes."

Hays High (0-7, 0-1 WAC) was held without a point in the first quarter in a 49-31 loss to visiting Liberal (3-4, 1-0 WAC) on Friday at the HHS gym. It is Liberal's third straight win after a 0-4 start to the season.

The Indians finished the game with 27 turnovers while no player had more than six points. Hays High put its defensive focus on Liberal senior Jai Chapman, who finished with a game-high 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting.

"We tried to hold Jai to 10 points and make somebody else beat us and we didn't even come close to that," Maska said. "I thought we played harder. We played better. We still just need to figure the game out."

Liberal led 32-13 at halftime after leading 10-0 after the first quarter. Despite continued turnovers in the second half, Maska was happy with how the Indians handled themselves in the late stages of the game. Hays High outscored Liberal 11-7 in the fourth quarter and 18-17 for the entire second half.

"We came out of the half and turned it over two or three times. I was proud that the girls didn't dwell on that and kind of came back," Maska said. "I think we might have outscored them in the second half. Little battles right now and that was one of them."

Senior Haley Wells and sophomore Audra Schmeidler each led Hays High with six points, while freshman Talyn Kleweno had five points, all coming off the bench in the final minutes of the game.

Hays High will next play Great Bend on Tuesday at the HHS gym. Tip is set for 6 p.m. with the boys' game to follow.

Boys

Hays High 78, Liberal 49

Liberal (2-5)

Britton Abbott 5-5 4-14 14, Hinkle 3-5 0-0 9, Hasik 1-3 2-5 5, Quintana 1-5 1-2 4, Stout 1-4 2-2 4, Fitzgerald 1-2 1-3 4, Coker 2-4 0-0 4, Ware 1-4 1-1 3, Green 1-3 0-0 2, Larkin 0-2 0-0 0, Pando 0-0 0-0 0

Hays High (7-0)

Brady Werth 8-13 2-2 18, Jordan Windholz 4-10 6-10 15, Lane Clark 4-5 3-5 13, Clayton Riedel 5-8 0-2 11, Nunnery 3-4 1-3 7, Berens 1-2 2-2 4, Romme 1-3 0-0 3, Parker 1-4 0-0 3, Niernberger 1-3 0-0 2, Rounkles 1-2 0-0 2, Dryden 0-3 0-0 0, Hobson 0-0 0-0 0

Liberal 14 3 9 23 -- 49

Hays High 21 18 25 14 -- 78

3-point goals -- Liberal 6-17 (Hinkle 3), Hays High 6-19 (Clark 2). Free throws -- Liberal 11-27, Hays High 14-24. Team fouls -- Liberal 22, Hays High 20. Fouled out -- Liberal, Coker; Hays High, none. Rebounds -- Liberal 25, Hays High 30. Turnovers -- Liberal 23, Hays High 6.

Girls

Liberal 49, Hays High 31

Liberal (3-4)

Jai Chapman 6-8 4-6 16, Mickens 3-8 2-2 8, Ramirez 2-5 2-2 7, Besecker 2-11 0-0 6, Shelton 2-4 0-0 5, Sanchez 1-2 0-0 3, Long 1-6 0-0 2, Nunez 0-2 1-2 1, Limon 0-5 1-3 1, Hernandez 0-1 0-0 0, Arriaga 0-0 0-0 0

Hays High (0-7)

Wells 3-9 0-0 6, Schmeidler 2-9 1-2 6, Kleweno 2-4 0-0 5, Peckham 1-3 2-4 4, Schlaefli 1-4 0-0 3, Pfeifer 1-1 0-0 3, Dinkel 1-5 0-0 2, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, George 0-1 0-0 0, Russell 0-5 0-0 0, Keller 0-0 0-1 0, Becker 0-3 0-0 0, Schoendaller 0-0 0-0 0, Groen-Younger 0-1 0-0 0

Liberal 10 22 10 7 -- 49

Hays High 0 13 7 11 -- 31

3-point goals -- Liberal 5-19 (Besecker 2), Hays High 4-13. Free throws -- Liberal 10-15, Hays High 3-7. Team fouls -- Liberal 11, Hays High 14. Fouled out -- none. Rebounds -- Liberal 34, Hays High 29. Turnovers -- Liberal 20, Hays High 27.