Hays High boys bounce back with big win
By KLINT SPILLER
The Hays High School boys' basketball team had a disappointing eight-point loss earlier in the week at its rival, Great Bend.
Nothing seemed to go right for the Indians in that loss, and head coach Rick Keltner was disappointed in his team's intensity and effort.
Keltner was much happier following Friday's 74-54 victory against Garden City at the HHS gym.
"We are still a young team," he said. "For some of them, it was their first Great Bend road game. I think we got better from it. If you lose a game and get better from it, then you build on that, and that's a positive."
The Indians improved to 8-1 and 2-1 in the Western Athletic Conference while Garden City dropped to 7-3 and 2-2 in the league.
After making 14 of 52 at Great Bend, the Indians made 28 of 49 against Garden City.
"It was definitely better," said Hays High 6-foot-6 sophomore center Brady Werth. "Everything was falling for us, unlike Great Bend."
Garden City head coach Jacy Holloway said he hopes his squad will have a similar turnaround following Friday's loss, especially after the Buffaloes allowed Werth to go off for 28 points.
"We have some issues with listening and being in the right position," Holloway said. "We are probably going to go back and do exactly what Coach Keltner has done the last two days."
Werth finished with 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, and he also produced 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Werth has gotten the ball more and more, averaging 21.4 points in his last five contests.
"He is just going to keep getting better," Keltner said. "... He is a good finisher, but a lot of the credit goes to the fact that he had teammates getting him the ball."
Hays High's next top two scorers came off the bench. Senior guard Nick Petz contributed 16 points on 5-of-5 shooting, and junior point guard Jordan Windholz added 11 on 5-of-7 shooting.
The Indians also rebounded better against Garden City, grabbing 40 to Garden City's 32.
"Rebounding is want to, go get it and not being afraid to bump into somebody as you go up for the ball," Keltner said. "I thought we made progress here."
Garden City got a breakout performance from junior guard Hunter Delgado. He finished with a season-high 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
"He is just now finding his flow," Holloway said. "... He is doing a good job defensively, and it's really carrying over to the offense. He came ready to play. I would have left him in the whole game if I could."
Senior guard Bo Banner scored 13 points, and junior Tristan Nanninga and senior Austin Terpstra added nine and eight points, respectively.
Garden City hung with Hays High in the first quarter, but the Buffs fell into a lull in the second quarter. The Indians found easy basket after easy basket, making nine of 12 and outscoring Garden City 21-9 in the quarter.
Hays High took a 36-23 lead into halftime and never came close to relinquishing it.
"Coach Keltner talked about how poor their effort was Tuesday night," Holloway said.
"That was something they were really looking at fixing. They did a good job of that. They came out with a lot more energy. We were only able to give that energy for short spurts."
Though the game wasn't close, it did get rowdy at times. Four technical fouls were handed out -- two to each team.
Holloway earned one for arguing a call, and Terpstra got one for shoving a Hays High player.
Then Hays High senior Adam Deterding received one later for pushing Terpstra, and Indian reserve forward Kenny Rounkles received one late in the game.
Holloway said he had issues with the officiating since that crew had previously been banned from calling their games. However, the ban was later removed.
"When a crew gets banned from doing your games and they are still allowed to do it, it really affects the coaching, the way you coach and the way we play," Holloway said. "Our kids know it."