Rick Keltner and his Hays High School boys’ basketball team felt like it was on the verge of experiencing deja vu Friday night in Dodge City.
After leading by 11 after three quarters, the Demons got back in the game with a number of circus shots.
“They made some crazy shots in the last part of the game,” Keltner said.
The final one, a fadeaway 3-pointer at the buzzer, made the final gap three points, as the Indians held on for a 62-59 victory. It was eerily reminiscent of when the Indians saw a double-digit lead evaporate in a matter of minutes against Wichita East week earlier in the Dodge City Tournament of Champions. Fortunately for Keltner and the Indians, it was too little too late for the home team.
“If that would’ve happened again last we might’ve been a little scared i’m afraid,” Keltner said
The Indians held on late thanks to an impressive display from the free throw line in the final quarter. As a team, HHS made 13-16 attempts.
Drew Young made all four of his attempts late, and Keith Dryden went 5-6. Dryden, typically a good shooter, struggled against Dodge City in consolation action a week ago, and Keltner suggested he shorten up his routine to prevent from over thinking at the stripe.
“He’s always been a good shooter,” the HHS coach said of Dryden.
“I was proud of him last night, he hit some big free throws.”
Young, another senior starter, hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight of his team-high 12 points in the first quarter, helping the Indians out to a 17-10 advantage after one.
Sophomore Ethan Nunnery came in off the bench to add two more triples for the visitors in the second quarter, while Dylan Davis also added a make from deep.
The Demons made three 3-pointers of their own to win the second quarter 19-18. Hays High senior Isaiah Nunnery sat most of the first half after picking up a pair of early fouls.
The Fort Hays State signee made a 3-pointer to start the second half, helping the Indians stretch their lead to 11 to start the fourth,
Dryden was the only other HHS player in double figures, adding 11 points on 9-12 shooting from the line. Ethan and Isaiah Nunnery added nine and eight, respectively.
Dayton McGroarty scored a game-high 15 points for Dodge City.
HHS returns to action Tuesday against Salina South.