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Castle Rock: Hoxie grabs win in Quinter

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

QUINTER -- Quinter High School boys' basketball coach John Crist said rebounding boils down to "effort and toughness."

If that's the case, then Hoxie was trying much harder than Quinter on Tuesday at the 29th Annual Castle Rock Classic. The Indians out rebounded Quinter 32 to 9 in Hoxie's 55-26 first-round victory.

The Bulldogs (1-1) had just five rebounds after three quarters alone -- four days after grabbing more than 40 rebounds against Atwood-Rawlins County.

"I've been coaching for 20 years here, and I've never had anything like that happen," Crist said regarding the rebounding differential against Hoxie. "They were just bigger, faster, stronger and quicker than we were tonight in every aspect, and they beat us to all the loose balls. They were the tougher team."

Hoxie junior guard Chase Kennedy said his team was "really hungry to really get a good win."

Hoxie (1-1), previously ranked No. 10 in Class 1A Division I in the statewide coaches' poll, fell 77-71 Friday against Sharon Springs-Wallace County and dropped out of the rankings.

Wallace County is a solid ball club, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A Division II, but Kennedy said Hoxie wanted to rebound from the loss.

"We knew it would be tough playing Quinter at Quinter," Kennedy said. "We knew they would be fired up, and we knew they would have a good crowd. But we just got a good start, so that helped us."

It wasn't until the 3:05 mark of the first quarter that Quinter grabbed its first rebound. In that time, Hoxie jumped out to a 14-2 lead, scoring eight points off putbacks alone.

Kennedy, who is just 5-foot-8, led Hoxie with eight rebounds -- one fewer than Quinter's team total.

Quinter junior Colton Corwin, who had 16 rebounds against Rawlins County, led the Bulldogs with four rebounds. No other Quinter player had more than one.

"In practice, we told the kids the difference maker with when they played Atwood was they had 30 offensive rebounds between two players," said Hoxie head coach Aaron Dardis. "If you want to put yourself in a position to be successful, then you better box those guys out."

Offensively, Hoxie dominated despite going 0 of 5 from the 3-point line. The Indians finished 25 of 48 from the field.

Junior Kade Spresser led Hoxie with 16 points off 6-of-11 shooting.

Kennedy added 14 off 7-of-12 shooting, and 6-foot-5 sophomore forward Tanner Smith dominated the paint, scoring 12 points off 6-of-10 shooting.

"Kade Spresser -- I don't know how you guard him," Crist said. "He can shoot the ball, drive inside and is strong."

Sophomore Brett Crist led Quinter with 12 points, and Corwin added 9.

Lopsided first round

The Hoxie-Quinter game was just one of several blowouts in the first round of the Castle Rock Classic.

Only one game on the boys' side was close.

Rawlins County defeated Bird City-Cheylin 46-41.

Junior Dylan Tiemeyer led the Buffaloes with 17 points, and junior Michael Capo added 12.

Cheylin's 6-foot-9 senior center Joshua Keltz finished with 16 points, and junior Ty Carmichael had 15 for the Cougars.

Rawlins County trailed 14-9 after the first quarter, but the Buffaloes outscored the Cougars every quarter after.

The other two games were worse blowouts than Hoxie-Quinter.

No. 1 seed Ellis crushed Rexford-Golden Plains 83-23. Ellis rotated its entire lineup as 12 different Railroaders scored in the contest.

Seniors Jared Mick and Cole Pfeifer led Ellis with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Senior Thatcher Brown, a 6-foot-6 forward, posted 11 points.

Golden Plains had just one player reach double figures: junior Grant Spresser with 11.

Dighton defeated Grainfield/Wheatland-Grinnell 70-39.

The Dighton Hornets had four players score in the double digits. Senior Trevor Bollinger had a team-high 20 points. Senior Ryan Kuhlman scored 14, and juniors Isaac Alinor and Ryan Horn each posted 11.

Sophomore Nathan Goetz and senior Michael Lang led Wheatland-Grinnell with 11 and 10 points, respectively.