The SHS Bulldogs basketball teams travelled to Leoti on Tuesday, December 22 to face the Wichita County Indians for the final game of 2020. The Bulldogs junior varsity and varsity teams all came home with a win heading into the holiday break. The boys C-team came up four points short of a win, 21-25, there was no C-team girls game.
Junior varsity coach, Amy Norton commented “Their matchup against Wichita County was a close game, winning 37-27.” She explained that Wichita County switched up some of their defense which in turn, forced them to switch up their offense throughout the game. She felt the girls adjusted well and were able to pull off some good shots and good looks inside to their post. Leading scorer was Mallory Watson, eight points while Yaya Moreno and Alex Housholder, each had six points.
Head high school varsity coach, Kendra Fyler commented “We knew we would be pressed and that would have open layups and be able to get to the free throw line, in the end, we got the shots we wanted and got to the free line.” However, she did not feel they finished a lot of those shots.
Giving credit to Wichita County “They played extremely hard until the very end and worked us on defense,” said Fyler, “We only shot the ball at 25% from the field and 50% from the free throw line.”
The junior varsity and varsity girls are tied with a 2-4 record.
“We had some key players in foul trouble early and had some other players step up, and we played until the very end to pull off a win,” added Fyler.
Leading scorer was Yaya Moreno, 16 points, two charges taken, while senior Kate Riley had a high of five rebounds, along with nine points, the second leading scorer for the Bulldogs. Ashlyn Finlay had a high of five assists and five steals.
Moreno 2 6-12 16, Riley 2 5-9 9, Mitchell 0 4-6 7, Watson 1 0-1 5,
Thomeczek 1 2-4 4, Finlay 0 2-6 2, Housholder 1 0-0 2.
3 Point Goals - Moreno 2, Mitchell 1, Watson 1.
Syracuse 14 13 7 11 - 45
Wichita Co 15 8 9 12 - 44
Yaya Moreno 16 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals
Kate Riley 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jayden Mitchell 7 points, 1 rebound, 3 steals
Mallory Watson 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 steal
Kadee Thomeczek 4 points, 4 rebounds, 5 steals
Ashlyn Finlay 2 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals
Alex Housholder 2 points, 1 rebound
JV coach Tregg Thomeczek,winning 48-42 commented that Wichita County was a smaller team in size and number, they were very aggressive, probably the most they had seen so far. “It really gave the boys a different look, so we had to adjust but they did well, coming home with a win, 48-42! He is looking forward to seeing how the boys come back after break. .
The boys head into the break undefeated with a record of 6-0. Head Coach Jordan Wahlmeier says he is pleased with the boys efforts so far this season. “There is a lot of talent on our team, and we aren’t even close to reaching our full potential yet, hopefully the second half of the season treats us well!”
Going into Tuesday’s game, they knew they had to shut down Wichita County’s #10 Rietzke and #11 Chavez, but Wahlmeier felt they did neither of those. He commented, “Wichita County is a very solid basketball team, and they found ways to make plays even with some foul trouble.” Adding, “Even though we did not execute our game plan very well, our guys managed to keep battling and find a way to win a tough game.”
The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 31-25, “We preach how important rebounds are every single day, the boys made it a priority.”
Although they struggled executing their offense, Wahlmeier admits it may have been his fault. “We have not seen a man defense since the first game of the season, so it took a little while to knock the rust off.”
They soon got into a rhythm and, “The boys never looked back,” said Wahlmeier. Offensively, he feels like the boys can score on anybody, but they have been struggling to guard defensively. “That will be one of our main focuses coming back after break.”
“Tuesday night, the boys once again zoned in on defense in the fourth quarter and really clamped down on #10 and #11,” he said, “We made enough big plays down the stretch to pull away at the end and come out with a win!” He felt the guys never quit battling, even when they were not executing the game plan, “They find ways to win.!” Final score was 61-54.
Senior Austin Plunkett and Sophomore Kyler Keller led the Bulldogs in points with 20 each. Plunkett had eight rebounds and four assists while Keller had six rebounds. Hugo Leyva and senior Kolbey Brummett each had five rebounds. Taking one charge each was Plunkett, Leyva and senior Uriel Diaz.
Plunkett 7 6-10 20, Keller 4 3-5 20, Mitchell 3 3-4 9, Brummett 1 0-0 5,
Leyva 2 1-2 5, Gould 1 0-0 2
3 Point Goals – Keller 3, Brummett 1.
Syracuse 12 19 10 20 - 61
Wichita Co 14 15 14 11 – 54
Austin Plunkett 20 pts, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, 4 blocked shots, 1 charge drawn
Kyler Keller 20 pts, 6 rebs,3 assists, 2 steals
Joe Mitchell 9 pts, 4 rebs, 2 assists, 1 steal
Kolbey Brummett 5 pts, 4 rebounds
Hugo Leyva 5 pts, 3 rebs, 1 charge drawn
Jay Gould 2 pts, 1 rebound
Uriel Diaz 1 charge drawn
The basketball teams face an extended break since the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) will not allow contact between coaches and players for 12 days.
Wahmeier feels this will make it tough for teams around the state, because normally Christmas break practices are really where teams find their identity, assessing what they have done well the first part of the season, and spend time on areas that might need some fine-tuning.
“We’ll roll with the punches, and play the hand we’re dealt,” he added.
Coming back, he plans to hit the ground running and keep adding onto what they have already built. Their Team Council will plan some team-building activities, and voluntary workouts to try and keep the guys in shape and focused on the season.
“It comes down to player accountability and each teammate holding each other accountable, if we take these two weeks off and do absolutely nothing, it’ll be like starting back over on the first day of two-a-days, that is the situation we have to avoid,” said Wahlmeier.
Fyler’s plan over break will be individually based and motivated. She hopes they stay in shape by working out on their own and shooting on their own as much as they can, but mostly it will be a good break for the girls to rest and reset. “After break, we will come back with a refreshed attitude and work ethic and start to prepare for the league tournament,” said Fyler.
The Bulldogs will face Southwestern Heights on Friday January 8th at home.
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