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Hays High girls open WAC with win

By TYLER PARKS

sports@dailynews.net

LIBERAL -- The Hays High School girls' basketball team came out with a different starting lineup that consisted of five first-time starters for its Friday night Western Athletic Conference opener against against Liberal.

"We had some communication problems today, so we went with a different starting lineup," Hays High head coach Kirk Maska said of the lineup change.

It led to a bit of a rough start, but when the Indians' usual starters entered the game, so did the full-court press -- and problems for the Redkins in a 50-36 win for Hays High.

The Indians tied the game up at 11 to start the second quarter, and it was all Hays High from there.

The Indians closed out the first half on a 10-0 run, outscoring the Redskins 14-3 in the second quarter.

"I think once we get moving we don't have time to think and worry, so it got them moving and I think it got them going. We started pushing out and had a pretty decent lead by half," Maska said.

Three minutes into the third quarter Maska called off the press with the Indians up 33-18, but the floodgates had been opened and the Indians finished the third quarter up 42-20.

Four straight threes by Liberal's sophomore Megan Besecker led a late Redskin push, but wasn't enough to overcome the large deficit.

"Liberal is a lot better than they have been in the past, but it is a road win in the conference and we have to win on the road to get a shot to win the league, so we are thrilled to death to get one and get home to get ready for a good rival at Great Bend," Maska said.

Senior Katelyn Schumacher led the Indians with 17 points, while senior Taylor Herman grabbed eight rebounds to lead the way.

Senior Kaitlin Gulley was also in double figures with 14 points on the night.

This was the Indians first game back after winter break.

"You get to work on a few things during break and get to relax a little bit. I thought at times we looked really, really well and times we looked kind of rusty. I was pleased with the performance, I thought for the most part we played pretty well," Maska said.

Hays High improved to 4-3, 1-0 WAC and will travel to Great Bend on Tuesday night. Game time is 6 p.m. Liberal fell to 3-4, 0-1 WAC.