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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

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Hesston Record 12.11

Hesston Record 12.11

Swathers Headed To Garden Plain

Posted 12/12/2014

By Blake Spurney

Hesston Record Staff

Hesston’s boys and girls teams started the season by defeating a larger school in Buhler, and this week they will get extra helpings of the same diet.

Both teams played Tuesday at Rose Hill in the first round of the GP Classic Tournament in Garden Plain. They will play Class 5A Emporia on Friday and the host team Saturday.

The girls tip off at 4 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Girls head coach Matt Richardson said playing the larger schools helped to prepare Hesston for the postseason.

“We don’t have too many games that are too easy, and that’s good,” he said.

The Lady Swathers faced little resistance in the round-robin tournament last season, winning all games by at least 24 points. Richardson said Monday he hadn’t scouted Emporia or Garden Plain.

“I’m a one game at a time, and I didn’t do much homework on Rose Hill,” he said.

Richardson added that he was focused on trying to find out how the pieces on his time fit together best.

Hesston’s boys also swamped Emporia and Garden Plain by more than 20 points last season. Their games will follow the girls games.

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Lady Swathers Cruise By Buhler In Opener

Posted 12/12/2014

By Blake Spurney

Hesston Record Staff

 Kelsey Unruh tapped the opening tip to Caylee Richardson, who passed to Cami Richardson, who sent a bounce pass to Jessanna Nebel for an easy layup seconds into the game Friday against Buhler.

For most of Hesston's 54-38 victory, it almost seemed that easy. The Lady Swathers overwhelmed the Crusaders in the paint, and strong defense by Nebel neutralized Buhler's top scoring threat, Jessica Steffen. The junior guard didn't get her first points until more than four minutes into the second quarter.

Hesston then fell into a lull in the second quarter. After the Lady Swathers built a 17-9 lead, Buhler pulled within 24-23 after making six straight free throws. Some sloppy passing and defensive lapses by Hesston let the Crusaders back in the game.

Caylee Richardson answered Buhler's charge with a three-pointer with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining in the first half. Then just before the break, Nebel  gave the Lady Swathers an adrenaline shot when she rebounded Caylee's three-pointer attempt on the right block and scored on the stickback while being fouled. Nebel made the free throw, and just like that Hesston had a 30-23 lead.

"I saw an open gap, so I just went in," Nebel explained. "Everybody was facing the other way, and nobody saw me."

"So it was a good way to end the half," she added. "We came in and had a good talk and discussed what we needed to do in the second half."

"We kind of eased up after we got up on them in the first quarter," Caylee said. She provided most of the offense in the second quarter with two three-pointers, two free throws and a field goal for 10 points.

"I just take it as it comes, just in the flow of the offense," Caylee said.

The Lady Swathers had no letdown in the second half and steadily added to their margin. The fourth quarter belonged to Unruh. She scored 11 points in the final period and finished the game with 22 points. She was perfect on the night on her eight free throws.

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Hesston Boys Withstand Tough Buhler Challenge

Posted 12/12/2014

By Blake Spurney

Hesston Record Staff

Hesston's start-to-finish winning streak from last season appeared as if might not get out of the gate when Buhler built a 38-31 halftime lead Friday night.

The Swathers tightened up their defense in the second half and quit allowing Noah Webster to penetrate at will as they survived a 76-71 foul fest. Webster led the Crusaders with 22 points.

Grant Raleigh's hot hand in the second quarter — he made all three of his attempts from long distance — kept Hesston within striking distance. Contributions from Zach Esau and Grant Dahlsten helped the Swathers pull ahead 51-48 in the third quarter before Buhler's Tanner Lackey banked in a 30-footer at the buzzer.

"I thought it turned around in the third quarter when we started to play some defense," said head coach Greg Raleigh.

Defense was what the team talked about during the break. "I didn't get on them too hard," he said. He added that he couldn't remember the last time Hesston gave up 71 points.

One would have to all the way back to Pratt’s 77-58 win to find such an offensive outburst. Twice during the 2012-13 season, Hesston allowed 70 points: to Emporia in GP Classic Tournament and to Abilene in the Class 4A substate finals.

The biggest play of the game came just over a minute into the third quarter when 6-foot-6 Jace Williams was whistled for his fourth foul on what was a questionable call. Scott Duerksen drew the foul on a baseline drive, and he made one of two free throws.

Williams, whose wide and athletic body posed match-up difficulties for Hesston, had committed his third foul 8 seconds into the quarter.

"I think it made a big difference in the game," Coach Raleigh said about Williams' fourth foul. He added that Justin Smith sat out most of the game in foul trouble.

"He's a very important part of our team," he said.

Williams said the key to Hesston’s victory was “lack of execution by us and good execution by them.” He didn’t blame his benching on officials.

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