Syracuse High School varsity basketball teams began the High Plain League Tournament this week. The Monday Tuesday games were hosted by Stanton County and the Thursday, Friday Saturday games will be in Syracuse.
According to Athletics Director, Dan Delgado, this is the first time since the 2002-2003 that the final three days of the tournament have not been played at Garden City Community College due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Leading up to the tournament, the Lady Bulldogs faced the Lakin Broncs at home last Friday.
Head coach Kendra Fyler shared, “I was extremely impressed with our defense and effort offensively, Lakin’s press really bothered us and we had a hard time scoring.” Unfortunately, they came up short, losing 26-39.
In the opening games of the HPL tournament, they faced the Wichita County Indians on Monday, winning 44-34. According to Fyler, they wanted to pressure Wichita County and pick up the Bulldog’s intensity by picking up full court.
“It allowed us to create some turnovers and convert on offense. Late in the game, our defense came through and we got some big stops,” said Flyer.
The Lady Bulldogs face the #1 seed, Elkhart Wildcats on Thursday, 6:00 PM MT in the Herndon Gym.
Looking to Thursday night’s game their goal is to play to their highest potential both offensively and defensively. “We will need to play smart in order to beat Elkhart and we will need a team effort with everyone contributing in some way,” said Fyler.
She believes if the team comes together as a team, playing with confidence then they have a chance at earning a win.
The winner will advance to the championship game Saturday night, and the loser will play for third and fourth Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow start against Stanton County Tuesday night in the HPL Tournament.
The Bulldogs were down 9-4 and they battled back to tie up the game at the end of the first quarter, the teams were knotted at 11. There were five lead changes by half time. Kyler Keller hit 3 three pointers in the second quarter to give the Bulldogs a lead of 8 points at one point. This was the biggest lead of the game so far. The game was a lot closer than the score indicated. The score at half time was 24-20 and the Bulldogs kept the lead for the rest of the game. The second half was just as intense as the first with the Bulldogs maintaining their lead and won 54-42.
They knew the team who made the adjustments first, would be the team to win. “We tweaked some of our ways and the boys bought in and were extremely coachable.” He felt they executed the game plan and accomplished what they wanted.”
“We still need to tighten some things up offensively and make smarter decisions with the basketball in our hands, but defensively I thought we played a good game, we took care of business on the defensive end, and that is really what helped us win the game,” said Wahlmeier.
He knows the guys understand that is just one step closer towards their goal of a league championship, and by taking care of business this weekend, will get them where they want to be. “We enjoy each and every win we’re fortunate to come across, but not satisfied yet and I’m excited to see what this weekend has in store for us!” said Wahlmeier.
Kyler Keller led the Bulldogs with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals. Austin Plunkett added 12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists. Kolbey Brummett had 9 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 8 steals. Joe Mitchell had 6 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 2 steals. Hugo Leyva also added 6 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist. Uriel Diaz had 2 points, 1 assist, 1 steal. Team totals, 27 rebounds, 14 steals, 13 assists.
Syracuse 11 13 14 16 – 54
Stant Co. 11 9 14 8 – 42
Keller 1 5-6 19, Plunkett 4 4-6 12, Brummett 3 0-0 9, Mitchell 0 6-10 6,
Leyva 3 0-0 6, Diaz 1 0-0 2.
3 point goals – Keller 3, Brummett 1.
The Bulldogs will take on Southwestern Heights Mustangs, Friday at 6:00 pm MT in the Herndon Gym for the semifinal game of the tournament. The winner of that game will advance to the championship Saturday evening and the loser will play for third and fourth place Saturday afternoon.
All of the games are live on Facebook via Syracuse Bulldogs Basketball, SHS Girls Basketball or Big talker KIUL.
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