Thiller highlight semifinal Friday of Hays City Shoot-Out
By KLINT SPILLER
Hays High School junior shooting guard Lane Clark is clutch.
Clark has made several game-winning shots, including a game winner in last year's Hays City Shoot-Out, and he delivered again Friday in the semifinals of the Hays City Shoot-Out at Hays High's gym, making a game-tying shot to send the game to overtime and an eventual 54-53 win.
Trailing Newton 49-46 with just 1.88 seconds remaining in regulation, Hays High junior guard Jordan Windholz passed the ball in bounds to junior point guard Kyler Niernberger who redirected the ball to Clark, who was about seven feet behind the 3-point line.
Clark immediately shot the ball from far beyond NBA range and drained it, sending the game to overtime.
It completed a rally for the Indians, who trailed by nines with three minutes remaining in the fourth.
"I didn't make a lot of big plays during the game, and I thought, 'You know what? It's my chance now,' and it ended up going in," said Clark, who finished with 12 points -- 6 of which came in the last minute of the fourth quarter. "It felt so good."
Hays High trailed 23-21 at halftime and 36-30 after three quarters. Newton pushed its lead to 10 in the fourth quarter, but Hays High's late flurry -- 14 points in the last three minutes -- erased Newton's gaping lead.
"We believe in ourselves," said Hays High 6-foot-6 sophomore center Brady Werth. "We believe in each other. We are in it to win it."
The Indians then fed Werth underneath the basket in overtime to pull ahead.
Werth scored 4 of the Indians' 5 points in overtime on 1 of 2 shooting and 2 of 5 from the foul line.
"We wanted to give the ball to Brady, but Newton was doing a good job of crowding him," said Hays High head coach Rick Keltner. "There wasn't a lot of room around Brady. They've got quick hands. If he got it and hesitated, it was slapped away from him."
The Indians moved onto their first Shoot-Out title game since the 2009-10 season when they won it.
With their 2-0 start, they also already are a third of the way to their win total from last season when they finished 6-15.
"We've grown up a little bit," Clark said. "We are stronger. We are faster, stronger -- way different than last year."
Indian girls stopped by Newton, again
Newton just might be the Hays High girls' basketball team's kryptonite. The Indians just can't get past the Railers.
The Indians fell 43-31 to Newton in the semifinals of the Hays City Shoot-Out on Friday at the Hays High gymnasium.
Hays High has gone 0-4 against the Railers since 2010-11, losing to them in back-to-back sub-state games and back-to-back Hays City Shoot-Outs.
"It's kind of getting frustrating," said Hays High head coach Kirk Maska. "They say the more you play a team, the tougher it is to win. I'm waiting for that to hold true."
On Friday, the Indians hung with Newton, ranked No. 6 in Class 5A, until the fourth quarter.
In fact, Hays High took the lead three times in the second quarter, but in the fourth, Newton held a lead and switched to a slow-tempo offense, forcing the Indians to stretch their defense.
Newton's 6-foot-2 senior center Abbie Lehman led the Railers with 11 points and 16 rebounds.
Hays High's defense was effective limiting Lehman early, containing her to just 4 points in the first half, but Lehman scored 5 of her points in the fourth quarter when the Indians expanded their defense.
"I think we let the height bother us a little bit," Maska said. "They are a good ball club. They are ranked in 5A for a reason. We just have to get some confidence and get to their level."
Hays High senior forward Katelyn Schumacher led the Indians with 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Janae Gagnon added 8 points, and senior guard Kaitlin Gulley scored 7.
"I honestly feel like we could have beat them tonight," Gulley said. "I think we got a little too hard on ourselves."
Great Bend trounces TMP teams
It was a tough day to be a Monarch on Friday.
Thomas More Prep-Marian boys' and girls' basketball teams had the tough task of facing Great Bend in the consolation semifinals of each bracket.
Neither game ended well for TMP, as the girls lost 58-37 and the boys fell 53-27.
In the girls' game, TMP senior point guard Heather Ruder scored 16 points, and senior guard Allison Pfeifer added 10.
Great Bend put on a team-wide scoring display, as 10 players scored.
Great Bend junior Tarynn Stueder led the team with 12 points, and junior Kylee Spray and sophomore Regan Unruh each scored 10. Junior Hannah Hildebrand added 9.
In the boys' game, TMP fell behind quick, as Great Bend jumped to a 14-2 first quarter lead and led 32-8 at half.
The Monarchs kept pace in the second half, but they couldn't cut into Great Bend's first half lead.
TMP sophomore center Jordan Gottschalk led the Monarchs in scoring with 8 points. Sophomore forward Cameron Fouts and senior forward Kade Megaffin each added 6 points.
Great Bend senior Brock Ibarra led the Panthers with 10 points, and senior Chad Tausler and junior Dillon Reiser each scored 9.