HHS boys roll to 4-0
By AUSTIN COLBERT
About the only way to get an early lead on the Hays High School boys' basketball team this season is to score before the game begins.
Because once the clock starts moving, so do the Indians, and trying to keep pace with them is proving difficult through four games.
"You got to come out hard," Hays High senior guard Jordan Windholz said. "You can't let a team come in, especially on your home court, and have more energy than you. You always got to have more energy than the guys you are playing. We just always try to get that lead and keep going from there."
The Indians jumped out to an 11-0 lead over visiting Colby on Thursday at the HHS gym -- scoring their first basket only six seconds into the game -- and cruised to an 86-50 victory.
It was the first game for Hays High, 4-0 and ranked No. 4 in the latest KBCA poll in Class 5A, since defeating Garden City on Saturday in the championship game of the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout.
The 86 points scored was the most so far this season for the Indians, who are averaging 70.5 points per game.
"We ran some sets and got real good looks out of them," Hays High coach Rick Keltner said. "I thought we did some offensive sets better tonight than we did last time we played as far as people knowing where to go."
While the Indians half court game is good, their ability to score in transition is really what gives them an advantage over most teams. Hays High wastes little time trying to score, and its pressure defense often leads to easy points the other way.
No one benefited more from this than Windholz, who finished with a career-high 21 points on 9 of 12 shooting, many being acrobatic layups after racing the length of the court with the basketball.
"In the second half he just let the game come to him and it was pretty good stuff," Keltner said.
Senior Brady Werth led the Indians with 25 points on 11 of 15 shooting, including a rare 3-pointer made in the first half. Collectively, the Indians were 7 of 12 from 3-point range, compared to 3 of 15 for Colby.
Both teams were hot early, with Hays High building a 19-3 lead midway through the first quarter. The Indians had already made three 3-pointers up to that point, two by senior Lane Clark and one by sophomore Isaiah Nunnery.
Hays High turned a 24-13 lead after a quarter into a 47-23 lead at halftime.
The Indians continued to stay aggressive throughout the game, something they are doing well without turning the ball over.
"We are trying to take care of the ball," Keltner said. "I hope that our experience is helping us on the turnovers. But it's a game-to-game thing. Guys just got to keep making good decisions with the ball and it's something we will keep working on."
Colby had three players reach double digits, led by 11 from Luke Cox. Cameron Brown and Marc Bremenkamp each had 10. Nunnery was the third player in double digits for Hays High, bringing in 10 points, eight of which came before halftime.
The Indians will travel to Junction City on Tuesday.
"The chemistry just keeps getting stronger between the guys," Windholz said. "We love the game and we love to see each other. We are just going to keep getting better every day. It's our motto to win the day, and I think we did that."