Knowing the competition was going to get a heckuva lot tougher moving forward, the Hays High girls basketball team made quick work of Wichita-Life Prep in Thursday’s season opener.
The Indians opened the Kyle Porter era with a 55-7 rout of the Fire at Hays High, cruising into the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout semifinals.
HHS broke away in the first few minutes, opening up a 26-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. The Indians took a 39-7 lead into halftime before holding Life Prep scoreless in the second half, which was played under a continuous clock.
“You’re always afraid in games like that you’re going to relax maybe a little too much,” said Porter after making his debut coaching the HHS girls. “I didn’t necessarily think our shot selection was great in the second quarter. The second half was kind of a blur because it was a running clock.
“But we definitely got the first game jitters out. We did some really nice things on offense — in transition especially in the first quarter — that we were excited about. I thought defensively, it was good for the first game. But there’s a lot we can get better at and improve upon.”
Brooke Denning led the Indians with 16 points while Tasiah Nunnery and Isabel Robben finished with 13 and 11, respectively.
Porter, who guided Royal Valley to a Class 3A state championship last season, said it was beneficial to get all his reserves significant playing time.
“We wanted to try and get everybody floor time just to have that experience,” Porter said. “More than likely, we’re not going to play that many kids every game, but it’s a great opportunity for us to get film on everybody and to get them game experience. I think that will pay off.”
On the other side of the bracket, Manhattan beat Great Bend 51-41 and St. Thomas Aquinas earned a 59-40 win over Milwood, Okla. in the first round.