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Hays High routs Burlington in tourney opener

By TYLER PARKS

sports@dailynews.net

COLBY -- The Hays High School boys' basketball team came out firing on all cylinders in their rout of Burlington, Colo. in the opener of the Orange & Black Classic on Thursday.

The Indian's strong defense was just as impressive.

The Indians (9-1) picked up their second straight victory, defeating the Cougars, 70-19, and moved into today's 8:15 p.m. semifinal game against McCook, Neb.

Hays High held the Cougars (2-9) to a single field goal in the first quarter. They hit just 1 of 5 from the floor in the quarter and only 4-of-17 in the first half. Meanwhile, the Indian offense, led by a career-high 12 points by junior Kade Parker, took a 43-11 halftime lead.

The Indians didn't commit a turnover for the first five and a half minutes of the game.

The Indian defense forced 31 Cougar turnovers in the contest and Hays High only committed eight, half of its season average.

Hays High even held Burlington to a scoreless third quarter until an Eloy Sandoval three-pointer in the final seconds.

The Indians came out sluggish in the second half, not making a basket for the first two minutes until a basket from Parker put them on the board ending the drought.

"We didn't really know what we were going to come face really, we just kind of played like we usually do I was just open on a lot of layups tonight," Parker said. "My teammates found me and found everyone else really well tonight."

Parker finished 6-of-8 from the floor, one of three Indians in double figures. Senior Derek Bixenman and sophomore Brady Werth each added 11.

"We prepared like we would for any other game we ran through plays and ran through our defense. We just came out and did what we needed to do," Parker said.

The Cougars came into the game with just two wins and Keltner wanted to make sure his Indians didn't look past this team when getting to the tournament.

Keltner used the Indian's depth to their advantage often subbing in five fresh bodies at a time. The Indians had 10 players score in the contest.

"You only get 25 games in a season, if you make the state tournament, so you have to value each game and come out ready to play and ready to play hard," Keltner said.

Sandoval hit four 3s for the Cougars and had 12 of the team's 19.

"I thought we had some progression. We still gave up some threes, that is something we are still getting better at," Keltner said.

McCook (11-2) defeated host Colby, 58-26, in Thursday's late game.