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The Hesston Record
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February 15, 2018 The Hesston RecordFebruary 15, 2018 The Hesston Record 

 

 

Preheim & Perry Financial Group, Inc.Preheim & Perry Financial Group, Inc.

 

 

Swathers Pick Up Two Wins During ‘Good Week’

Posted 2/8/2018

By Blake Spurney

Hesston Record StaffPHOTO BY PAM WEAVER
REESE Nebel skies above a couple of Haven defenders Tuesday, Jan. 30, during a 72-62 victory.PHOTO BY PAM WEAVER REESE Nebel skies above a couple of Haven defenders Tuesday, Jan. 30, during a 72-62 victory.

Hesston remains in the hunt for its sixth straight Central Kansas League crown after knocking off Haven 72-62 at home Tuesday, Jan. 30, and surviving 72-70 on Friday at Smoky Valley.

“We just need somebody to knock off Halstead,” said head coach Greg Raleigh. “We should have, but we didn’t take care of business.”

On Friday, the Swathers (11-4 and 5-1) overcame foul trouble and a second-half surge by the Vikings. Hesston actually led 37-19 in the second quarter, but Smoky Valley ended the half with a 6-0 run. The Swathers led 51-44 heading into the final quarter after Cameron Cox sank a three-pointer. Then things got dicey.

Trailing 63-56 after Jacob Adams scored inside, the Vikings switched to a full-court press in the final three minutes. Hesston committed three turnovers within a minute, and Smoky Valley pulled within 63-62. Ben Bollinger’s three-point play on an inside basket and free throw was matched by Nick Reinert’s three-pointer. The teams played on even terms until Reese Nebel sank two free throws with 35 seconds remaining to put Hesston up 72-69. After Adams made one free throw, Hesston turned the ball over on an in-bounds play with 21 seconds left. By this time, Cox had fouled out.

The Vikings ran a play and got a good look inside but missed. They got the offensive rebound and missed, and finally Blake Heble was fouled with 2.3 seconds on the clock. After missing the first free throw, he intentionally missed the second, and Hesston escaped.

“We put on a clinic on how not to play the last two minutes,” Raleigh said.

Still he said Smoky Valley (9-7 and 3-3) was a good team. “Last week was a really good week.”

Nebel finished with 25 points, and Cox added 17. Because of his team’s foul troubles, Raleigh played 12 players, and freshmen Andrew Schmidt and Braden Esau saw their first varsity action.

On Tuesday, Jan. 30, the Swathers played nearly flawlessly down the stretch after entering the fourth quarter with a 49-47 lead against the Wildcats (8-7 and 2-3). Haven’s 1-3-1 trapping defense gave Hesston fits until then, and Kodi Dale kept the visitors in the game by making five three-pointers.

“Well, we’ve actually been working on it quite a little bit,” Raleigh said about the zone trap. “It’s difficult to duplicate. The things they were doing are what got us against Cheney last year. I thought we attacked it better as the game went along.”

Cheney rallied to beat Hesston in the substate semifinals last March after switching to the defense in the middle of the third quarter.

Grady Toews started the late push by draining a three-pointer. He finished with 11 points.

“I was feeling good before the game, and I was shooting good during warm-ups,” he said.

The junior is shooting over 70 percent from long range on the season, and his coach would like to see him be more aggressive in looking for his shot.

“As the year’s progressed, I feel like I’ve gotten better at that,” he said.

Hesston pulled away by making 12-16 from the line in the final quarter. Nebel made 7-9 and scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the period.

Hesston plays Friday at home against Larned and at Hoisington on Tuesday, Feb. 13.