Judging by a strong sub-state performance, Hoxie boys basketball coach Jake Moss believes his team is peaking at the right time.
The Indians (21-2) earned an 81-66 win over Plainville in the Class 2A sub-state final at Ellis after rolling to a 64-48 semifinal win against Hill City.
“There’s been several games throughout the year where I’d said, ‘We’re not even firing on all cylinders yet,’ ” Moss said. “We may have one or two guys step up in one game, and then the next game it’s a couple different guys.
“I kind of think we started to all put it together last week in sub-state at Ellis where we had multiple guys firing. I think right now if we can keep this together and keep playing as a team, it’s going to do well for us.”
No. 3-seeded Hoxie, making its first state appearance since taking fourth place three years ago, will open the Class 2A tournament against Garden Plain at 8:15 p.m. Thursday at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan.
The Indians transitioned into the Mid-Continent League this year, playing their regular Northwest Kansas League slate, but also competing in the MCL Tournament.
“It made our schedule a lot tougher this year and made us a little bit more battle-tested,” Moss said.
The Indians are led by 6-foot-11 junior Harlan Obioha, who is averaging about 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Indians.
“He’s definitely a team player for us,” Moss said. “He can score, he can rebound, he can pass, and he anchors our defense in the middle of the paint with a lot of blocked shots.”
Garden Plain enters with an 18-5 record.
“They’re very tall,” Moss said. “They’re about 6-3, 6-4 across the board, other than their starting point guard. They’re very athletic; they were 10-1 in football. They rely on their size and athleticism to win games.”