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Monarchs clip Eagles in thriller

Rick Peterson Jr.
rpeterson@dailynews.net
Jackson Schulte, front, and Jace Wentling, back, celebrate after the TMP-Marian boys earned a 62-59 victory over Hugoton on Friday in the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout at Hays High.

Bill Meagher watched several of his players grow up over the course of a single game during Friday’s thriller with Hugoton.

The Thomas More Prep-Marian boys rallied from a 12-point third quarter deficit to clip the Eagles 62-59 behind several big plays down the stretch in Day 2 of the Gerald Mitchell Hays City Shootout at Hays High.

After putting up 32 in the season opener on Thursday, senior guard Jackson Schulte followed it up a 24-point outing, and several other Monarchs stepped up late, including juniors Bryce Seib, Gavin Unrein and Jace Wentling.

“This was a game where I saw guys come in at one level and leave at a different level,” Meagher said. “And we need them to do that because we’re playing young. Games like this helps guys grow up.”

In a back-and-forth final frame, Hugoton grabbed a one-point lead on a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left, but a layup from Wentling put the Monarchs up a point with 28 seconds left.

Hugoton missed a mid-range jumper and Unrein grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws with 7.9 seconds left to put the Monarchs up three.

The Eagles missed a contested 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

“I wish every one of our games was something like that,” Meagher said of the battle between 3A contenders. “That helps us a lot as a team. Hats off to that team. They are a well-coached team (C.J. Korf). They are really, really aggressive and do a great job. For our guys, that was awesome for them.”

Hugoton led 37-28 at halftime, scoring the last eight points of the second quarter. The Eagles led 44-32 before TMP closed the third quarter on a 13-3 run that was capped off by a Schulte 3-pointer.

Seib made several key plays on both ends in the second half to help spearhead the comeback.

“He sees the floor really,” Meagher said. “He’s unselfish and he’s really strong. When he gets more experience, that’s going to make for a really great point guard. I thought he did a really good job defending and getting the ball where we needed to today.”

It was a balanced scoring attack behind Schulte. Seib finished with nine points while Lucas Lang, Wentling and Unrein added eight each.

The Monarchs were set to face Hays High in a crosstown showdown of 2-0 teams at 7 p.m. on Saturday to close out the Shootout. Check Tuesday’s print edition and hdnews.net for a game recap.

TMP boys 62, Hugoton 59

Hugoton;17;20;10;12;—;59

TMP;15;13;17;17;—;62

Hugoton (1-1) — Argell 3 1-3 8, Harper 2 4-4 9, Daharsh 4 4-6 13, Korf 5 3-3 14, Mecklenberg 2 2-3 6, Riddlesperger 2 2-2 6, Bennett 1 0-0 2, Martin 0 0-3 0, Williams 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 17-36 59.

TMP (2-0) — Lang 3 2-3 8, Wentling 3 2-5 8, Seib 2 5-8 9, Schulte 10 0-1 24, Werth 2 0-0 4, Harris 0 1-2 1, Unrein 3 2-2 8, Chiu 0 0-0 0, Weth 2 0-0 4, Rome 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 12-21 62.

3-point goals — Hugoton 4 (Argell, Daharsh, Harper, Korf), TMP 4 (Schulte 4). Total fouls — TMP 22, Hugoton 24. Fouled out — Werth, Harper.